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  • REVIEW: 2015 Yamaha MT-09 – more is always better?

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    Triples occupy that delicate balance between power, weight and handling. Combining the torque of a twin, with the power of a four-cylinder, three-cylinder motorcycles are unique in the biking world.

    There is a lot to be said for using a triple in a motorcycle, especially a universal machine that is meant to be a general purpose machine. Seeing this is pretty much a niche design, with many riders accustomed to twos or fours, Yamaha took the plunge with the MT-09 and its three-cylinder engine.

    The first MT-09s were well received by the market, catering to the need for public road hooliganism and spending more time on the rear wheel than the front. But somewhere under that hard-edged exterior, lay a somewhat capable universal Japanese machine, or UJM.

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    Now, UJMs were something riders from the 70s and 80s are familiar with, and they seem to be making something of a comeback, albeit with rather more specialised styling, as opposed to the days when one design was made to do everything.

    So, Yamaha, with its MT-series bikes, now have the MT-09 triple to complement the two-cylinder MT-07 – which we recently reviewed here – and the four-cylinder MT-10, which Malaysians don’t get. But why does Yamaha need a 847 cc machine to slot into a sandwich between the 689 cc MT-07 and the 998 cc MT-10?

    Find out why after the jump.

     
     
  • BMW Motorrad Street Air Dry – airbag riding jacket

    It cannot be denied that motorcycling is a dangerous sport, more so in traffic conditions with so many distracted drivers paying more attention to their handphones. In an effort to improve riding safety, BMW Motorrad is introducing the Street Air Dry by Alpinestars riding jacket, with an airbag system.

    Designed to work in conjunction with the Alpinestars airbag system vest, the Street Air Dry jacket offers upper-body protection in the event of a crash. Upon detecting a crash situation, the airbag inflates within 25 milliseconds and protects the back, kidneys, chest and shoulders.

    The system is designed to be stand-alone, and does not require pairing with the motorcycle or other sensor systems to work. Sensors are placed close to the rider’s body, and allows for the rider to easily switch between bikes, without the need to change modes when switching between on- and off-road riding.

    Available from October 2016, the BMW Motorrad Street Air Dry jacket comes in both male and female cutting, and is meant for use on road and dirt. Adapted from Alpinestars Tech-Air motorcycle airbag system, the airbag vest is designed to be worn only with a compatible jacket like the Street Air Dry.

     
     
  • 2017 Yamaha motorcycles get new colour schemes

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    Updated for 2017 is a series of models from Yamaha’s catalogue, covering the gamut from its superbikes down its 125 cc commuter machines. Starting with the sports bike range, the YZF-R1 superbike now comes with a new shade – Tech Black – with Race Blu continuing on with new graphics.

    The baby YZF-R125 comes with two new colour schemes – Tech Black like its big sibling and Radical Red, with Race Blu carried over from 2016. In the Sport Touring range, the MT-09 Tracer, which was recently released in Malaysia at a price of RM59,900, comes in Midnight Black and Mountain Green for 2017, with the 2016 Yamaha Blue paint scheme completing the set.

    For Yamaha’s naked sports bikes, the MT-series, the MT-07 – which was recently reviewed – gets a trio of new colours. These are Tech Black, Yamaha Blue and Competition White, while the Night Fluo scheme released earlier this year follows through into the new year.

    One MT-series bike we don’t get in Malaysia is the MT-125, which comes in Tech Black and Yamaha Blue. The baby MT also has a Night Fluo colour which is carried over from this year’s catalogue.

    On the dual-purpose adventure side of things, the Yamaha XT1200Z, or Super Tenere, will sport two new colours. Affectionately known as the “Super Ten”, the 2017 version comes in Yamaha Blue and Tech Black.

    Yamaha’s Sport Heritage range has three machines seeing updated paint schemes. The XV950R Bolt – which retails for RM52,500 – will come in Tech Graphite for 2017, while the sportier XSR900 gets Tech Black alongside the previous years colours of Garage Metal and Rock Slate.

    Down the sport heritage range the XSR700 also comes in Tech Black for 2017. Crossing over from 2016 are the Forest Green and Garage Metal paint schemes, both of which are updated with a black radiator.

    GALLERY: 2017 Yamaha YZF-R1


    GALLERY: 2017 Yamaha YZF-R125
    GALLERY: 2017 Yamaha MT-09 Tracer
    GALLERY: 2017 Yamaha MT-07
    GALLERY: 2017 Yamaha MT-125
    GALLERY: 2017 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere
    GALLERY: 2017 Yamaha XV950R Bolt
    GALLERY: 2017 Yamaha XSR900
    GALLERY: 2017 Yamaha XSR700

     
     
  • 2017 KTM motocross bike range launched in Malaysia – six models, 250/350/450 cc, from RM38k to RM46k

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    The 2017 range of off-road motorcycles from Austrian manufacturer KTM was launched at a media ride at Sungai Buaya, Rawang, Selangor by Malaysian distributor Eurotech Wheel Distributor. Comprising of six models, the 2017 range of KTM motocrossers – which are CBU – span an engine capacity of between 250 cc and 450 cc, and prices begin at RM38,160.

    A quest to save weight and improve rider ergonomics has resulted in an all-new engine that is smaller and lighter than the 2016 version. In the case of the EXC-F enduro models, a new frame and sub-frame gives a weight saving of 550 grammes, and a new WP Suspension Progressive Damping Geometry (PDS) rear shock absorber weighs 602 grammes less.

    Also going on a diet is the engine for the 250 cc and 350cc versions of the EXC-F, which have lost 1.5 kg and 1.9 kg respectively, while the 450 cc version loses a massive 2.4 kg. A lithium-ion battery is now standard fitment, cutting weight by another kilogram.

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    New for 2017 is the WP Suspension XPLOR 48 upside-down split fork – with 30 clicks of adjustment – that separates rebound and compression damping to the right and left side fork cartridges. Electric starting is now standard across the range, with a kickstarter kit available for those riders who prefer starting their machines manually using the right foot.

    Braking is by Brembo, clamping a single Galfer brake disc front and rear. A new airbox – designed with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) – gives better intake performance and easier air filter changes. The ECU and throttle body is by Keihin.

    Aside from the standard version EXC-F, an upgraded Six Days version is also available. The Six Days enduro bikes – the name ‘Six Days’ taken from the famous International Six Days Enduro race – come with preload adjustment on the front fork, as well as traction control and two throttle maps controlled by the rider using a handlebar switch.

    The 2017 KTM motocross range begins with the two-stroke 250 EXC Six Days, which retails for RM38,160. Next up are the 250 EXC-F and 250 EXC-F Six Days, which go for RM41,870 and RM45,050 respectively.

    A step up the range are the 350 EXC-F at RM42,400 and 350 EXC-F Six Days which goes for RM45,580. Topping out KTM’s 2017 enduro models are the 450 EXC-F at RM42,930 and the 450 EXC-F Six Days version at RM46,110.

    Also offered is the competition-only 450 SX-F – which omits lighting and other road legal equipment – at RM39,750. All prices include GST.

    GALLERY: 2017 KTM 350 EXC-F

     
     
  • 2017 Yamaha YZF-R1M opens for online order in Oct

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    As Yamaha’s top-of-the-line superbike, the YZF-R1M seems to have flown under the radar of late, shown up by offerings from other manufacturers such as the 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R. This is set to change in October, when online applications for the purchase of a 2017 Yamaha YZF-R1M will be opened.

    Applications for the purchase of the limited edition YZF-R1M – said to be the most exclusive production motorcycle ever made by Yamaha – will begin on October 11. The 2017 YZF-R1M is inspired by the current MotoGP race bikes ridden by Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, and features trickle-down racing technology as used by the Yamaha MotoGP race team.

    Targetted towards individual race teams, privateer racers and experienced track day riders, the online application process is designed to ensure that only the best candidates obtain one of the very limited supply of R1Ms. As part of the process, applicants will be required to fill in a comprehensive survey, in order to determine a purchaser’s suitability.

    Carrying a four-cylinder 998 cc Crossplane engine that is claimed to put out 200 PS, the carbon-fibre bodied 2017 Yamaha YZF-R1M comes with a whole suite of electronic rider aids. Weighing in at 200 kg wet, the R1M comes with Ohlins electronic racing suspension (ERS), six-axis inertial motion sensor, traction and slide control, as well as lift and launch control.

    As part of the ownership of the 2017 Yamaha YZF-R1M, the Yamaha Riding Experience will be provided during the summer of 2017 at certain European race circuits. Planned to allow riders and teams to get the best out of their R1M, these two-day events will include machine set-up workshops and track sessions with current and former racing stars.

    Coming only in silver-blue livery, with updated graphics, Yamaha has not released any details on pricing for the 2017 YZF-R1M, but we assume such exclusivity does not come cheap. As a rough comparison, the 197 hp 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R – which is road legal – retails in Malaysia for RM104,859 with GST.

     
     
  • Ducati reopens renovated museum in Borgo Panigale

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    In conjunction with its 90th anniversary celebrations this year, Ducati opened its new museum in Borgo Panigale, Bologna, Italy over the weekend. In the presence of Claudio Domenicali, chief executive officer of Ducati, the event was graced by Italian premier Matteo Renzi.

    Also at the opening ceremony were president of the Emilia-Romagna region, Stefano Bonaccini, and the mayor of Bologna, Virginio Merola. The new Ducati museum has 44 motorcycles from the company’s history on display – 26 race bikes and 18 road bikes – each machine signifying a milestone in Ducati’s design, engineering or racing sucess.

    Pride of place is given to the Ducati 916, the one machine that symbolises Ducati’s renaissance in the modern sportbiking era. Alongside the 916 is displayed design work and styling exercises by Massimo Tamburini, who was responsible for some of today’s most iconic motorcycle designs.

    “The restructuring of our museum is a very important and significant event for our company and for all the Ducatisti fans who follow and appreciate our brand and our bikes across the globe. We wanted to renovate this museum as a tangible sign of the vitality and strength of a company that is celebrating its 90th anniversary and looking to the future,” said Domenicali.


     
     
  • 2017 Triumph Street Triple 675R 10th Anniversary limited edition – only 150 units to be made

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    It’s been 10 good years for Triumph’s Street Triple 675R middle-weight naked sports bike, and what better way to celebrate than with a limited edition? First introduced in 2007, the Triumph Street Triple has proven to be a sales success, with riders world-wide taking to its great handling.

    To celebrate 10 years of the Street Triple R, Triumph has issued a limited edition anniversary edition, which comes in one of three colour schemes – Grey, Gold and the rather ominous R Dark. Each bike comes in a limited production run of 50 units.

    Wheels colour-coded to the limited edition paint scheme come with a “10 year anniversary” sash emblazoned width-wise. In addition, the paint scheme features a Union Jack on either side of the fuel tank, with a belly-pan, flyscreen and seat cowl fitted as standard from the factory.

    The Street Triple R Dark anniversary edition will be available from October 1, and will retail at 8,599 pounds sterling (RM46,122) in the UK. Scheduled for release in mid-October, the gold and grey versions will retail for 7,999 pounds sterling (RM42,904).

    We previously reviewed the Street Triple 675R, and were consequently given a unit for long-term review. Carrying a inline three-cylinder engine that puts out 106 hp and 68 Nm of torque, the Street Triple 675R weighs in at 168 kg.

    Retailing here for RM53,900 including GST, the 2016 Triumph Street Triple 675R currently comes with a cash rebate or in-store credit of RM2,000 with free insurance, road tax and a Triumph tank bag, or a cash rebate or in-store credit as previously mentioned, plus free Triumph flyscreen, quickshifter and tank bag.

     
     
  • EBR Motorcycles back for 2017, new urban street bike, sub-10,000 USD sports bike rumoured for 2018

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    As manufacturer of America’s only modern sports bike today, Erik Buell Racing (EBR) has had a long and troubled history. After being closed down as a brand by Harley-Davidson in 2009, and a disputed relationship with Hero Motorcycles of India, EBR found itself in liquidation this year.

    Now known as EBR Motorcycles, and with founder Erik Buell taking the role of chief technology officer, EBR has announced it will be launching its 2017 model range this week. EBR is looking toward the future, having embarked on a continuous quality improvement programme, and firming up relationships with suppliers.

    “Our dealers have had nice success selling bikes this summer and we have many new ones coming on. Our quality is continuously improving, our supplier relationships established, and now we are looking towards the future. This fall we have something ‘Quick, Dark, and Low’ in the works that should be exciting for urban street riders,” said EBR owner Bill Melvin.

    Also in the works is a sub-10,000 USD motorcycle for 2018. While no details were forthcoming, it can be surmised that the new EBR machine will follow its sports bike design philosophy with a V-twin engine and race-oriented design.

    EBR plans to show its 2017 bikes at bike shows in California, New York, Texas and Illinois. Aside from next year’s models, visitors will also get to see its 2017 and 2018 model prototypes at certain shows. EBR currently has two models in its range – the fully-faired 1190 RX and 1190 SX naked sports bike.

    GALLERY: 2016 EBR Motorcycles 1190 RX


    GALLERY: 2016 EBR Motorcycles 1190 SX

     
     
  • 2016 Yamaha Y15ZR MotoGP Edition – RM8,634.76

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    To commemorate its involvement in the MotoGP world championship with the Movistar Yamaha team and riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, Hong Leong Yamaha Malaysia has released the 2016 Yamaha Y15ZR MotoGP Edition at RM8,634.76. Dubbed “the king of the streets”, the Y15ZR is a supercub that carries a single-cylinder fuel-injected engine.

    Displacing 150 cc, the engine’s power output is claimed to be 15.1 hp at 8,500 rpm, while torque is rated at 13.8 Nm at 7,000 rpm. Power gets to the ground via a five-speed gearbox and chain final drive.

    Hydraulic discs handle braking duties front and rear, grabbed by single-piston calipers. A telescopic fork holds up the front end and a pre-load adjustable monoshock keeps the rear end upright.

    Aside from the MotoGP Edition, the 2016 Yamaha Y15ZR also comes in three other colour options – grey, which was released recently, as well as red and blue.

    With the 2016 Yamaha Y15ZR MotoGP edition retailing for RM8,634.76, the base Y15ZR goes for RM8,210, with all prices including GST. The Y15ZR’s closest rival is the Honda RS150R, which retails from a base price of RM8,213.94, including GST.

    GALLERY: 2016 Yamaha YZ15R – Grey

     
     
  • Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R supercharged replacement?

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    Patent photos have surfaced supposedly showing Kawasaki’s upcoming supercharged 600 cc four-cylinder, dubbed within the Akashi City, Japan, company as the “R2”. With the current model Ninja ZX-6R due for an update, could this force-fed four be its replacement?

    What can be seen from the patent drawings from website morebikes is that the R2 draws a lot from the current Kawasaki hyperbikes, the H2 and H2R. A trellis frame can be seen in the top-down drawing, with the inlet for the fuel tank perched above the airbox, and extending downwards under the rider seat.

    A flow chart shows the process flow of the intake and exhaust, with the fuel pump feeding what looks to be a multi-point injection system, with an exhaust valve indicated which might function in a similar manner to Yamaha’s EXUP exhaust system.

    Exhaust position has changed, going from the side-mounted can on the current model ZX-6R to an underseat unit. The swing-arm, assuming this makes it into production, seems to be a welded aluminium alloy affair, unlike the massive forged unit on Kawasaki’s current model 600.

    The fairing on the R2 also looks to be a development of the current unit found on the Kawasaki ZX-10R, with a large nostril inlet cutout and rounded headlights, as opposed to the angular half-fairing found on the H2. Brembo brake calipers also look to be present at the front end, based on the side-view illustration

    Certainly the patent drawings look interesting, and might lead to the R2 being the “baby” H2, albeit with significantly more power output than the current model ZX-6R. With Euro 4 looming in January, it comes as no surprise that more manufacturers will be looking to forced induction to conform to emissions testing.

    What do you think? Is the supercharged R2 the way foward for Kawasaki’s inline-four 600 cc supersports bike? Or might this be a “baby” hyperbike, designed to enter the line-up alongside the 400 km/h H2R?

    Leave a comment with your thoughts and opinions below.

    GALLERY: 2016 Kawasaki H2/H2R