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  • 2016 Honda CBR250RR – 360-degree view and more

    With the long-awaited 2016 Honda CBR250RR finally launched a few days ago in Indonesia, here is a 360-degree of Honda’s brand new quarter-litre class sportsbike. Coming in both ABS and non-ABS models, the Honda CBR250RR replaces the previous generation CBR250R single-cylinder machine.

    The new CBR comes with a 249.7 cc parallel-twin engine fed by PGM-FI, with eight-valves and liquid-cooled. Ride-by-wire with three engine modes is standard, a first for Honda in the small displacement category.

    No official word on power or torque figures yet, but somewhere around 26 or 27 real world horses would be about right, corresponding to something like 35 manufacturer horsepower. Power gets to the ground via a six-speed gearbox and chain drive.

    2016 Honda CBR250RR - 5

    Suspension in the front is with upside-down forks, while the rear suspension uses Honda Pro-Link system and has five-position adjustment. Braking is with single discs front and rear, with the front caliper using two pistons.

    Fuel is carried in a 14.5-litre tank, and seat height is set at 790 mm. The front headlights are twin-LED units, giving the fairing cowl a slim, sharp appearance.

    There are three colour options – Racing Red, Anchor Grey metallic and Matte Gunpowder metallic. The CBR250RR also features what Honda calls a “layered cowl”, designed to optimise the air-flow and aerodynamics of the bike.

    In Indonesia, two models will be offered: non-ABS for 63-68 million rupiah (RM19.5k-21k), and the ABS version from 69-70 million rupiah (around RM21,500). According to Honda, the 2016 Honda CBR250RR will only be released in Japan later this year.

     
     
  • 2016 Kawasaki Z125 Pro recalled for faulty shock

    2016 Kawasaki Z125 Pro EFI (3)

    Recall notice number MC16-04 has been filed with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by Kawasaki US for the 2016 Kawasaki Z125 Pro mini-moto for a faulty rear shock absorber.

    According to the filing, 1,282 units of the Z125 Pro manufactured between February 4 to June 7, 2016, may have been fitted with rear shock that may leak. The leak may cause loss of function of the absorber, thereby increasing the risk of a crash. Z125 Pro owners in the US will be notified by Kawasaki US, and can have the shock absorber replaced at a Kawasaki dealer, free-of-charge.

    Also available in Malaysia, the 2016 Kawasaki Z125 Pro comes with a 125 cc, single-cylinder, four-valve SOHC air-cooled engine that produces 9.8 PS at 8,000 rpm, and 9.6 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm. Fuelled by EFI, this mini-moto rolls on 12-inch wheels that – coupled with its short wheelbase – gives it quick handling.

    Retailing at RM10,435 inclusive of GST, the 2016 Kawasaki Z125 Pro is targetted at the younger rider wanting a quick, small motorcycle with trendy looks. Only one colour option is available in Malaysia – Burnt Candy Orange.

    We are in contact with Kawasaki Motors Malaysia to find out if any Malaysian units are affected and will post an update if necessary.

     
     
  • 2016 Benelli T302R and TnT135 in Malaysia by Oct?

    Here’s a first look at the 2016 Benelli T302R sportsbike and TnT135 mini-moto, rumoured to be introduced to the Malaysian market soon. No details on pricing as yet, but unnamed sources have hinted that the retail prices for both new models will be below current competitor pricing.

    First seen at the EICMA show in Milan last year, the Benelli T302R is a fully-faired sportsbike that carries a parallel-twin engine displacing 300 cc. Rated at 36 hp at 12,000 rpm, and 27 Nm of torque at 9,000 rpm, the T302R uses a six-speed gearbox to get power to the ground.

    Upside-down forks suspend the front end of the Benelli T302R, with braking taken care of by twin-petal discs grabbed by four-piston brake calipers. Weight is claimed to be 180 kg, with a 790 mm seat height. Fuel resides in a 14-litre tank.

    2016 Benelli T302R and T125 -4

    On the smaller bike front, the Benelli T135 mini-moto follows styling cues from the Kawasaki Z125 Pro very closely. Power is claimed to be around 11.7 hp at 9,000 rpm and torque at 10 Nm at 7,000 rpm from the single-cylinder air-cooled, four-valve twin-spark 135 cc engine driving a five-speed gearbox.

    Rolling on 12-inch wheels, the Benelli T135 has a 41 mm upside-down fork and a lateral rear shock absorber with spring pre-load adjustment. Braking is with single-discs front and rear, and seat height is 780 mm. The T125 weighs in at 121 kg, with a 7.2-litre fuel tank.

    2016 Benelli T302R and T125 -15

    Rumours have it that the Benelli T302R and TnT135 will be hitting the Malaysian market in October 2016, but no details on pricing are available. Sources have reported both new Benelli models were seen testing in the Bukit Beruntung, Selangor, area, where the Benelli Keeway factory is located.

    Closest competitors to the 2016 Benelli T302R are the KTM RC250 at RM21,081, Yamaha YZF-R25 at RM20,630 and the Kawasaki Ninja 250 at about RM22,000. For the Benelli T125 mini-moto, it goes head-to-head with the Kawasaki Z125 Pro, which retails at RM10,435.

    As earlier stated, both the Benelli T302R and T135 are being priced to undercut competitors locally. Would you be interested in a full-faired sports 300 cc bike below the RM21,000 point, or a 135 cc mini-moto below RM10,000? Leave us a comment with your thoughts and opinions below.

     
     
  • Benelli Italy declared bankrupt by Italian court

    Kenstomoto Demolisher Benelli TnT600-48

    Reports have emerged that Italian motorcycle manufacturer Benelli has been declared bankrupt by the Italian court in Pesaro over a 120,000 euro (RM535,600) debt. The matter arose after Benelli failed to pay suspension maker WP Performance the amount owed for the supply of suspension components.

    As a result, it has been reported that some completed motorcycles from Benelli’s inventory had been seized by a court trustee as collateral to ensure payment of the debt. Benelli is currently appealing the decision with the Court of Appeal in Ancona.

    Qianjiang Group, owners of the Benelli brand, were quick to issue a statement that its motorcycle brand was financially sound. It said there were ample financial resources to repay the debt, and had begun the process of making restitution.

    2016 Benelli Tnt25 -1

    It is alleged by sources inside Benelli that the payment dispute arose over problems with product quality and contract related matters. Benelli has said that there is no disruption to its manufacturing operations or supply of inventory to distributors.

    While this might be so, other reports have said that Benelli claimed an 800,000 (RM3.57 million) euro loss in 2014, and a 5.7 million euro (RM25.4 million) loss the following year. However, Benelli is said to have had positive cashflow for the first half of 2016, though this will necessarily go towards off-setting previous losses.

    Benelli has seen something of a resurgence since 2015, when it showed several new models at the EICMA show in Milan. In Malaysia, Benelli is represented as a separate entity by Benelli Keeway, which distributes the TnT25, TnT300 and TnT600, among other models.

     
     
  • New BMW Motorrad RnineT Scrambler – full details

    P90203112-highRes

    There was a time when bikers had to make one bike to do it all. Specialisation in terms of motorcycle design, back in the 50s, was mainly confined to the racing world, and usually involved just removing headlights and seats, and anything else extraneous for the purpose to reduce weight.

    By the time the 60s rolled around, and the Rolling Stones held their infamous concert at Altamont, motorcycles were broadly divided into two species – road bikes and scramblers. Typically, scramblers had taller suspension, knobby tyres and high-set exhausts.

    Now that retro-styled machines are the ‘in’ thing, throwbacks to the 60s abound, and BMW Motorrad’s new RnineT Scrambler – the second in its Heritage series – is now among us, bring back memories of Barbour jackets and the International Six Day Trials. We had previously tested the RnineT, and found the last of the air-cooled boxer engines much to our liking.

    BMW R nineT Scrambler

    Sporting the same air-cooled flat-twin boxer of its road-oriented sibling, the RnineT Scrambler places the engine in a steel tubular space frame integrates the 1,170 cc boxer engine as a load-bearing element and designed for customisation. The engine itself produces 110 hp at 7,750 rpm and delivers a maximum torque of 116 Nm at 6,000 rpm while being Euro 4 compliant, no mean feat for an air-cooled engine.

    In keeping with the Scrambler style, the raised exhausts are tucked in close to the body, and exit high and on the left. This helps slim down the silhouette of the RnineT Scrambler, while a large catalytic convertor ensures emissions compliance.

    Several changes have been made to the RnineT Scrambler that sets it apart from the standard RnineT. Suspension travel at the front, using 43 mm diameter telescopic forks, is 125 mm compared to 120 mm on the road-retro, while the rear has 140 mm travel on Motorrad’s Paralever, versus 120 mm.

    The rear suspension for the Scrambler has stepless adjustment for pre-load using a ‘C’ wrench, as opposed to the hydraulic adjustment on the RnineT, while rebound is adjustable for both Heritage bikes, with the forks being non-adjustable. The Scrambler is also a touch longer in wheelbase, at 1,522 mm against 1,476 mm.

    Strangely enough, the RnineT Scrambler comes with cast aluminium alloy wheels as standard, against the more retro-styled spoked wheels on the RnineT which are an option for the Scrambler. The Scrambler carries a 19-inch hoop up front, and a 17-incher at the rear, while the RnineT carries 17-inch wheels at both ends.

    Braking is identical for both machines, twin 320 mm discs in front and a single 265 mm disc at the back with radial mounted brake calipers on the forks. BMW Motorrad’s ABS comes as standard, but there are no other riding aids such as traction control or ride modes.

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    Coming with a more relaxed riding position, the RnineT Scrambler has taller handlebars, and less padding in the seat, with foot-pegs set lower and more to the rear. Bodywork is at a minimum, with the 17-litre sheet-steel fuel tank and the trim cover made of fine aluminium sheet being the main components.

    An air intake duct sits on the right side of the fuel, embossed with the RnineT name. The rear sub-frame can be quickly removed, like the standard RnineT, allowing for easy customisation according to rider preference.

    The 2016 BMW RnineT Scrambler comes only in Monolith metallic matt. The rest of the Scrambler comes coated in black, in keeping with the bike’s retro ethos. A full range of accessories for the Scrambler is available from the BMW Motorrad catalogue.

     
     
  • Treeletrik e-bikes launched in Malaysia, from RM4,500

    2016 Treeletrik e-bike launch

    A push to have 100,000 electric vehicles on Malaysian roads by the government saw the launch of the Treeletrik range of electric motorcycles, or e-bikes, by assembler and distributor Tree Movement yesterday. In an event officiated by Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, crown prince of Pahang, three models from the Treeletrik range were shown – the T-90, T-70 and T-Cargo.

    The T-90 is an e-scooter with 84-volt electric motor coupled to a 50 AH battery. Range for the Treeletrik T-90 is claimed to be between 80 to 100 km. With a quoted weight of 115 kg, the T-90 is capable of reaching speeds of up to 90 km/h.

    Treeletrik T-90 (left) and T-70 e-scooters

    Also shown was the T-70 e-scooter that runs a 60-volt motor connected to a 30 AH battery, giving a range of between 70 to 90 km. Weighing in at 78 kg, the Treeletrik T-70 hits a maximum speed of 60 km/h.

    Treeletrik also displayed the T-Cargo, a commercial/utility e-scooter that has a large cargo compartment located on the pillion seat position. Designed for short delivery trips in urban areas, the T-Cargo should find favour with food delivery establishments.

    Treeletrik T-220 e-bike (left) and T-60 e-scooter

    There are two other models in Treeletrik’s range – the T-220 sports e-bike and the T-60 e-scooter. The T-220 is a full-sized e-bike that runs a 96-volt motor that gives a speed of 120 km/h and 120 km of range, while the T-60 has a 48-volt battery that runs for 90 km range at about 55 km/h.

    No word on possible pricing for the range of e-scooters, but Treeletrik chief executive officer Michael Yap said the T-90 and T-Cargo enter the Malaysian market by the end of September this year, while the T-70 would be available by November at a starting price of RM4,500.

     
     
  • 2016 Yamaha Y15ZR – now in grey, priced at RM8,210

    Y15ZR_Brochure_F

    Yamaha’s “supercub”, the Y15ZR, has received an update for 2016 – a new colour scheme in a rather fetching shade of grey with a purple tint. Retailing at RM8,210 including GST, this kapchai takes it styling cues from Yamaha YZF range of sports and superbikes.

    Carrying a 150 cc four-valve, four-stroke, liquid-cooled single cylinder engine fed by EFI, the Yamaha Y15ZR gets the power to the ground via a five-speed gearbox and chain final drive. Power is claimed to be 15.1 hp at 8,500 rpm, while torque is rated at 13.8 Nm at 7,000 rpm.

    Braking is with a single hydraulic disc in front and rear. The under-seat tank carries 4.2-litres of fuel, with a very rider-friendly seat height of 670 mm.

    The total weight of the Yamaha Y15ZR is 115 kg, and suspension is with a standard telescopic fork in front, and monoshock at the back. Aside from the new 2016 colour of grey, two other colour options are available – blue and red – while the previous option of black has been discontinued.

    Retailing for RM8,210 including GST, but excluding insurance and road tax, the 2016 Yamaha Y15ZR goes up against the recently launched 2016 Honda RS150R, which goes for RM8,213.94 for the standard, and RM8,374.94 for the advanced, including GST.

     
     
  • Death Machines of London DMOL2 “Up yours copper!” – tribute to legendary journalist Hunter S. Thompson

    DMOL Up yours copper DMOL2  (4)

    Legendary American journalist Hunter S. Thompson, father of “gonzo” journalism – a journalistic style that blurs the barriers between fiction and non-fiction – loved guns, drugs, alcohol and motorcycles in equal measure. His reporting on American politics, his 1967 novel on the Hell’s Angels, his essay on the air-cooled Ducati V-twin “The song of the sausage creature“, earned him a reputation many have tried to emulate, but few have matched.

    Thompson died from an alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2005 – alleged because Thompson was a big fan of conspiracy theories and considering his work, some of those theories might have been true. Although Thompson may have shuffled off this mortal coil, his memory is commemorated by, and lives on in, the Death Machines of London DMOL2 custom called “Up yours copper”.

    Based on a 2007 Triumph Thruxton 900 parallel-twin engine, Up yours copper reflects Thompson’s philosophy on life, motorcycles and a poor demeanor towards law enforcement in general. With the tagline “a proper gobby Thruxton”, the DMOL2 caused the builders a lot of pain in bringing it to life.

    DMOL Up yours copper DMOL2  (7)

    This included incidents like dropped fuel tanks, snapped drill bits, broken lathes and spilled blood, but we would consider this to be fairly typical for anything involving Thompson or his name. A new rear-end was fitted to the de-lugged, weld cleaned and modified frame, finished in a dark shade of Beluga Black.

    The engine was also extensively modified, with a gas-flowed cylinder head and re-mapped fuel injection to work in tandem with the custom ceramic-coated exhaust that exits under the seat cowl. The exhaust actually exits through the rear-light cluster, and it took 11 attempts to get the right balance between the exhaust gas exiting or melting the light housing.

    Details abound throughout the DMOL2, including the copper-plated 19-inch and 17-inch wheels laced with black-anodised spokes and nipples. The front brake is a Fontana four-leading shoe drum-brake assembly that looks like a racetrack refugee – from the sixties. The rear shocks are Hagon units with a 20 mm extension over stock, while the frton fork features re-valved internals with Progressive Suspension fork springs.

    Another touch is the use of a magneto switch from a Supermarine Spitfire Mk 1. Yes, that Spitfire. One magneto switch switches on the bike, while the other energises the starter. Custom-made velocity stacks pull air into the EFI throttle bodies, and the battery lives in a custom housing between the machined-aluminium footpegs.

    The brushed aluminum light cowl houses a 7-inch military-specification LED headlamp, as well as the custom-made speedometer which is machined out of brass, with the numbers etched using micro-lithogrpahy – a process more commonly found in manufacturing printed circuit boards for electronics.

    Calling for special mention is the seat, which is hand-carved from American walnut by Ben Heeney of Ian Dunn Woodwork and Design. Made out of seventeen parts in order to maintain a consistent grain pattern within the highly complex compound curves of the rider’s form, DMOL claims the seat is, despite appearances, exceedingly comfortable.

    DMOL Up yours copper DMOL2  (3)

    The crowning touch on the DMOL2 are the words “Faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death” etched around the fuel-filler cap. These words are, of course, Thompson’s, and taken from his novel, Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.

    Designed and built in England, Up yours copper stands as an example of the motorcycle as working art. Death Machines of London has not released any information on how much this build cost, but invites enquiries on its website.

    What do you think? A beautiful example of motorcycle art and worthy of a place in your garage, or supreme waste of money and time? Leave us a comment with your thoughts and opinions below.

     
     
  • Federal Highway motorcycle lane – the danger is real

    2016 Fed Highway bike tunnel -2

    After the heavy rains over the weekend, we did wonder what the situation might be in the Federal Highway motorcycle lane, more specifically, the tunnels. We got our answer from these pictures taken at the tunnel underneath the Federal Highway-Subang interchange.

    As can be seen, the tunnel was flooded at some point during the weekend, and when the flood waters drained away, it left behind a thick coating of mud in the tunnel, along with a pile of mud at one side of the tunnel entrance. This is obviously a clear hazard to motorcyclists, especially when entering the unlit tunnel.

    2016 Fed Highway bike tunnel -3

    We shall be doing a follow-up ride of the Federal Highway motorcycle lane soon, to see if anything has changed in the last 30 days. We did note that the day after we posted our video, the debris at the on-going construction works at the Selangor arch had been cleaned up.

    There will also be more in the series, as we travel the dedicated motorcycle lanes along highways in the Klang Valley. It is our hope, with this series of videos, that the authorities and relevant government agencies pay more attention to the maintenance and safety of all public roads, not just the bike lanes.

     
     
  • Gov’t looking to have 100,000 EVs on the road by 2020

    treeletrik launch bernama

    The government is aiming to have 100,000 electric vehicles on the roads nationwide by year 2020, according to international trade and industry minister Datuk Seri Mustapha Mohamed. While there are only 891 EVs currently registered in the country, he said the government will continue the push the use of such energy efficient vehicles, The Sun reports.

    “One of the main reasons why we encourage it is because it would reduce carbon emission in the country, subsequently providing a better environment for all. Secondly, using e-vehicles would reduce maintenance cost, with savings of about RM5,000 each year compared to the conventional vehicles,” Mustapha said.

    He was speaking at the launch of the new range of Treeletrik electric motorcycles yesterday. Mustapha said that the introduction of these bikes will swell the numbers of e-bikes on the road to around 5,000 by the end of the year, compared to the 100 presently registered.

    He urged more local companies to embrace and produce electronic vehicles in line with the government’s aim to encourage the use of green technology to reduce carbon emissions.