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  • 2017 SYM Sport Rider 125i Malaysia launch – RM5,450

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    In conjunction with its annual dealers’ dinner, SYM Malaysia held the world debut of the SYM Sport Rider 125i in Penang, at a price of RM5,450, excluding GST. More than just SYM’s first launch of a 123 cc EFI motorcycle in the underbone (kapchai) category, the Sport Rider 125i was produced based on a design from SYM’s Malaysian operation.

    The decision to produce an EFI 125 cc kapchai was taken after considering the needs of riders in the small-bike market, combining the SYM Malaysia’s experience with the SYM Sport Bonus 115 and E Bonus 110. The SYM Sport Rider 125i comes with an air-cooled 123 cc single-cylinder two-valve SOHC engine that pumps out 9.5 PS at 8,000 rpm and 10.8 Nm torque at 5,500 rpm.

    In full compliance with Euro 3 standards, the 125i is fed by EFI, a first in the kapchai-class for SYM. DRLs are also included, as well as LED signals and taillights, which brings the lighting under Euro 4 compliance.

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    There is an under-seat storage space, which means the 4.2-litre fuel tank gets placed in the tail section. An analogue tachometer – something not usually seen in kapchais – and digital LCD speedometer complete the instrument cluster, with the LCD gauge performing multiple duties with gear read-out, odometer and fuel gauge.

    Front suspension is with telescopic forks, while a traditional twin shock absorber setup in the rear features remote reservoir shocks adjustable for pre-load. Braking is done with a hydraulic disc in front grabbed by a twin-piston caliper, and the rear brake is by mechanical drum.

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    Weighing in at 107 kg, the seats of the Sport Rider 125i are separated, designed to enhance the comfort level of both the rider and pillion. SYM Malaysia expects to sell 20,000 units a year, with bikes arriving in SYM dealer showrooms from September.

    The 2017 SYM Sport Rider 125i comes in three colours – Yellow, Blue and Red – and goes for RM5,450 excluding GST, road tax and insurance. A special limited edition Matte-Black version of the 125i is available for RM5,570. A three-year or 30,000 km warranty is provided.

     
     
  • 2017 Indian Motorcycle line-up shown at Sturgis Rally

    2017 Indian Motorcycles Scout

    Sturgis, South Dakota, US, is the scene for an annual motorcycle rally that is always well-attended by bikers riding American iron, notably machines emblazoned with the initials “H-D”. What many may not know is that the Black Hills Motor Classic, now popularly known as Sturgis, was started by an Indian Motorcycle dealer named J.C. “Pappy” Hoel, back in 1938.

    At this year’s event, said to be attended by over 400,00 bikers, Indian Motorcycles unveiled its 2017 line up of cruisers, baggers and tourers. For the coming year, there will be nine motorcycles in the range, covering various cruiser riding styles.

    For the entry-level into Indian motorcycles, there are two variants on offer, the Indian Scout at US$11,299 (RM45,600), and Indian Scout 60 at US$8,999 (RM36,300). Both bikes are powered by a liquid-cooled 60-degree V-twin, with the Scout coming with a 1,130.7 cc engine producing 100 hp and 97.8 Nm, while the Scout 60 displaces 983.2 cc with 78 hp and 88 Nm.

    Indian has a pair of cruisers on offer, which can be suitably kitted out from the range of accessories in its catalogue. They are the Chief Dark Horse, which goes for a base price if US$17,499 (RM70,600) and the Chief Classic at US$18,499 (RM74,600). Both cruisers share a 1,811 cc Thunder Stroke V-twin with 161.1 Nm torque.

    Baggers – a cruiser with hard- or soft-shell panniers and fastback styling – are represented in Indian’s range by the Chief Vintage at US$19,999 (RM80,700), Springfield at US$20,999 (RM84,700), the Chieftain Dark Horse at US$21,999 (RM88,700) and the Chieftain USD23,999 (RM96,800). All come with the 1,811 cc Thunder Stroke mill.

    At the top of the heap is the Roadmaster, Indian’s full-dress tourer which starts at US$28,999 (RM117,000). Also using the Thunder Stroke, the Roadmaster comes with Indian’s Ride Command infotainment system. The system integrates navigation, sound and bike information on a seven-inch touchscreen display.

    Besides the Roadmaster, the system also comes standard on the Chieftain and Chieftain Dark Horse. USB and Bluetooth connection is set for compatible devices, and the nav system is driven by TomTom.

     
     
  • 2017 Harley-Davidson tourers to get Milwaukee Eight

    2017 Harley Davidson Tourers (3)

    After pictures of a new Harley-Davidson V-twin surfaced on the internet recently, dubbed the “Milwaukee Eight”, H-D has given fans a first look at its 2017 range of touring rigs carrying the new powerplant. As surmised, the new 1,753 cc mill is installed in the 2017 H-D Road King, Street Glide Special, Road Glide Special and Road Glide Ultra models.

    H-D has said that it was important the heritage of its trademark air-cooled V-twin be preserved in the new engine, which features visually dominating cylinder heads, and a slimmer barrel fin design at the waist. The air-cleaner housing now harks back to the Shovelhead engines of H-D’s AMF era.

    More torque is expected from the new engine, which now features four-valve heads that are said to provide 50% greater intake airflow, and better exhaust. Fuel economy is also said to be improved, with vibration reduced and overall power output increased.

    The Milwaukee Eight will come in three versions, the standard air-cooled V-twin and a “Twin Cooled” version – using liquid-cooled cylinder heads – both displacing 1,753 cc, and a 1,870 cc Twin Cooled power plant for H-D’s Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO). The traditional gear drive for the cams is now gone, replaced by a timing chain with an automatic hydraulic tensioner, with pushrods actuating hydraulic tappets.

    A counter balancer has also been designed into the Milwaukee Eight, cutting down on 75% of engine vibration, but still managing to retain that characteristic H-D “rumble”. This was in response to H-D finally recognising that it has a worldwide fanbase, and some of its customers expect a certain degree of refinement from an engine.

    2017 Harley Davidson Tourers (4)

    Suspension for the 2017 H-D lineup of tourers has also been upgraded, with new forks and rear shock absorbers. The front forks now comes with variable orifices in the damping valves, giving both low-speed stability and high-speed bump compliance, while the rear absorbers feature damping adjustment that doesn’t require tools, with ride height adjustable with an inch of range.

    All in all, the new Milwaukee Eight represents a serious amount of investment for H-D, and it hopes the current evolution of its V-Twin will appeal to both the traditionalist Harley rider, while also drawing in a new breed of customer.

     
     
  • 2017 Ducati Scrambler to get 1,100 cc enduro model?

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    Reports and pictures have emerged on the internet of an enduro-styled version of the Ducati Scrambler, a retro-styled naked sports motorcycles. The new Scrambler, spotted testing in an undisclosed location, is said to sport a 1,078 cc air-cooled twin.

    Scuttlebutt earlier in the year had said the possibility of an 1,100 cc Scrambler was strong, based on the Desmodue V-twin last seen in the Ducati Monster Evo. This was according to Ducati project manager Frederico Sabbioni, who hinted that any Scrambler would stay true to the bike’s design philosophy of a two-valve, air-cooled engine.

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    It was seen from pictures that the new “super-sized” Scrambler was sporting taller upside-down forks, perhaps to give the “Scrambler 1100 Enduro”, as foreign press are calling it, more off-road capability. Also spotted was a spoked front wheel that looked decidedly larger than the current 18-incher on the Scrambler.

    Assuming that the front wheel is a 19- or 21-incher, that would certainly give the Scrambler 1100 greater confidence in handling rough terrain off the beaten track. An 1,100 cc Scrambler would also be a logical progression of the Scrambler range, based on Ducati’s previous success in the evolution of the Monster series.

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    This could mark a new direction for Ducati, with the 2016 launch of the very capable Multistrada 1200, as a company that is looking at both the road and off-road markets, especially in the long-distance category.

    The 2016 Ducati Scrambler is available in Malaysia in two flavours. The 803 cc Full Throttle, Urban Enduro and Classic models at RM69,999 and the Icon at RM63,999, while the 399 cc Scrambler Sixty2 retails at RM52,999. All prices include GST.

     
     
  • 2016 Yamaha Janus – first stop-start scoot for Yamaha

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    The 2016 Yamaha Janus scooter will be launched in Vietnam this month, and is the first ever Yamaha scooter to feature engine ‘stop-start’. Targetted at female riders, the Janus combines Yamaha’s “Blue Core” fuel-saving engine design philosophy to provide an environmentally conscious ride.

    While not the first to the market with stop-start in the scooter market – Honda did it first with the PCX 150 back in 2010 – this budget segment scooter was developed under the “basic scooter with pride” for the female rider in her twenties. Sporting a 125 cc single-cylinder engine, the Janus produces 9.5 PS at 8,000 rpm and 9.6 Nm torque at 5,500 rpm.

    Rolling on 14-inch wheels, the Janus weighs in at 97 kg, and there is a 14-litre storage compartment under the seat that can hold two half-shell helmets and rain gear. A Smart Key system is also standard fitment, increasing security.

    Price for the 2016 Yamaha Janus is 27.5 million VND (RM4,961) with a projected sales figure of 100,000 units. Two other models – the Janus Deluxe and Janus Premium – will be launched in November, but no pricing or specifications were provided.

     
     
  • 2016 Ducati XDiavel by Roland Sands at Sturgis Rally

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    The Sturgis Rally in South Dakota, US, is a yearly event that attracts thousands of motorcycle riders from across the globe. These riders usually have one thing in common, they ride American cruisers, usually Harley-Davidsons.

    To find an Italian cruiser in the mix is somewhat exceptional, since Italian motorcycles are known more for their performance and being high-strung than anything else. But Ducati decided it would be the perfect place to show its XDiavel by Roland Sands Designs (RSD) concept motorcycle.

    Attending Sturgis for the first time, Ducati brought the Roland Sands concept XDiavel to put forward its take on the “power cruiser”, what it says is a synthesis between the traditional American cruiser traits of low-down power and torque, with a feet-forward riding position, and the performance and handling that Ducati is famous for.

    Known for his styling work on cruisers, notably Harley-Davidsons, Roland Sands decked out the XDiavel in billet aluminium, topped off with a one-piece body on the Ducati trellis frame, and a 19-inch front hoop to give it that unmistakable cruiser style.

    The RSD XDiavel now features a low-slung dragster style, finished in sparkling silver. Styling parts by Roland Sands can be found in Ducati’s performance catalogue for the XDiavel, featuring a range of styling accessories machined out of billet aluminium.

    Carrying a Testastretta 1,262 cc V-twin liquid-cooled engine with Desmodromic Variable Timing (DVT), combined with twin-spark and four-valves per cylnder, the XDiavel pumps out 156 hp at 9,500 rpm and 128.9 Nm torque at 5,000 rpm. Fuelling is by EFI and ride-by-wire, using oval 56 mm throttle bodies.

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    A full suite of riding aids comes with the XDiavel, including riding modes, Bosch cornering ABS and traction control, cruise control and launch control. The package weighs 247 kg wet, and seat height is a low 755 mm. We had a close look at the XDiavel in Indonesia, and believe it when we say this machine has presence.

    For Malaysia, the 2016 XDiavel is scheduled to arrive sometime in the later part of the year, probably in October. Our sources in Ducati have been silent on possible pricing, but we would expect it to come in at around the RM140,000 point.

     
     
  • Super KIP crashes out in the wet at Brno Grand Prix

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    Starting from 28th position on the grid at the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic at the Automotodrom Brno, Khairul Idham Pawi, better known to his fans as Super KIP, stormed up to to third place with some very aggressive riding in the wet.

    While in second place on lap 15, Super KIP highsided his Honda Team Asia Moto 3 race bike. Khairul – who is rapidly gaining a reputation as a wet weather specialist – was at the time running a steady pace, and high-sided heading for the exit of the 12th corner.

    Super KIP expressed disappointment, and apologised to his team. “I had hopes to win, and aimed to keep a steady pace. I’m sorry for the team. I will continue the challenge in the next race,” said Khairul.

    Khairul stands at 11th place in the Moto 3 championship with 54 points. The next round of the Motorcycle Grand Prix will be in Britain at the Silverstone circuit on 2 to 4 September, 2016.

     
     
  • Harley and Marvel customs – for the superhero in you

    If you’re a fan of Marvel comics, and motorcycles, you’re in for a treat during the Comic-con in Sydney Australia, this year. Harley-Davidson (H-D) and Marvel have teamed up to produce a series of 25 one-off motorcycles that each represent a character from the Marvel comics universe.

    Created by H-D dealers across Australia and New Zealand, each custom cruiser represents a character from Marvel comics, notably drawing on the recent success of movies like “Guardians of the Galaxy”, “Captain America” and “The Avengers”. This unique collaboration of custom Harleys celebrates Marvel’s 75th anniversary.

    The bikes are drawn from across H-D’s range of bikes, with 16 characters in total represented in various motorcycle forms. While superheroes riding motorcycles are not a new thing in the Marvel universe, much of the recent interest in superhero motorcycles was generated by Captain America riding one in the movies.

    First of these is a Captain America themed Street Glide Special – which will be on display at the comics convention till 15 September – intended to inspire H-D dealers in Australia and New Zealand for their own custom builds. “The spirit of freedom is alive and thriving in the Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special. Like Captain America, it leads from the front with strength, power and endurance, enabling you to venture to new worlds and beyond,” said H-D spokesperson David Turney.

    Avid fans are not able to purchase one of the superhero customs, but they can win one by heading over to the H-D Marvel customs website and voting for their favourite. Unfortunately, the contest is only open to residents of Australia and New Zealand.

    Which one of thee Marvel superhero motorcycles is your favourite? Let us know by leaving a comment with your thoughts and opinions below.

    Full gallery after the jump.

     
     
  • Alpinestars appoints Sinar Puncak M’sian distributor

    Motorcycle and motorsports protective gear manufacturer Alpinestars has appointed Sinar Puncak as its official distributor in Malaysia, marketing its range of performance road motorcycle protective equipment. The complete range of Alpinestars road-riding gear will be sold.

    The range includes footwear, racing suits, riding jackets, gloves and other protective gear such as back protectors. With “Alpinestars Protects” as the essence of its brand philosophy, Alipinestars aims to develop its dealer network in Malaysia, as well as promote riding safety.

    Established in 1963 with the manufacture of a motocross boot, Alpinestars has over 70 products designed specifically for motorcycle road-riding and racing, as well as other product lines catering to off-road riding, downhill mountain biking, and motorsports.

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    With the intent of catering to a wide range of customers, both in terms of requirements and budgets, Alpinestars has a wide range of motorcycle road-riding gear, notably gloves. “This is inline with Alpinestars intent to grow with customers, as riding experience and capability changes over time,” said Francesco Venier, in charge of distributor development.

    Alpinestars sponsors Malaysian racers Muhammad Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman in Supersport World Championship and Asia Road Race Championship respectively, who were present at the event.

     
     
  • 2016 Brough Superior SS100, for the renaissance man

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    As a young lad, the author used to listen to his father speak of a man named T.E. Lawrence – better known as Lawrence of Arabia – who was responsible for shaping much of what the Middle East is today. Lawrence had an abiding passion for motorcycles, with his preferred choice being the Brough Superior, then the fastest motorcycle of its day.

    What stayed in the author’s mind, though, was being told of how Lawrence met his demise in May 1935, whilst riding a 1932 Brough Superior SS100 named “George VII” through the country roads of Dorset, England. Whilst riding his Brough, Lawrence swerved to avoid two young boys cycling, whom he could not see due to a dip in the road. He was thrown over the handlebars, and sustained head injuries in the crash, passing away six days later.

    As a result of the mishap, Sir Hugh Cairns, a neurosurgeon who attended to Lawrence, began a study into head injuries from motorcycle accidents. Cairns’ research led to the development and adoption of the motorcycle crash helmet, now compulsory safety equipment for motorcycle riders throughout the world.

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    The Brough Superior SS100 itself was a record-setting motorcycle back in the 1920s, and offered a high degree of customisation to owners. George Brough encouraged his customers to provide feedback and ideas for improvement, and the SS100 was pretty much a hand-built and custom motorcycle, earning the sobriquet “the Rolls-Royce of motorcycles”.

    After the conclusion of World War II, the company folded after 20 years in business, due to a lack of raw materials during the post-war austerity years. About 1,000 Brough Superiors from the pre-war period survive, looked after by a dedicated group of enthusiasts.

    Until 2008, when Brough Superior restorer Mark Upham bought the rights to the Brough Superior name. After showing a prototype of the SS100 at the Milan International Bike Show in 2014, Brough Superior is now back with a production facility in Toulouse, France.

    Carrying a 997 cc liquid-cooled eight-valve 88-degree V-twin, the engine is custom designed for the Brough Superior by Akira from Bayonne, Louisiana. Using DOHC and EFI, the V-twin engine is the culmination of George Brough’s dream to have an engine with cylinders integrated into a horizontally-split semi-dry sump crankcase.

    The engine is able to be tuned to produce anywhere between 100 to 140 hp, depending on customer preference. A neat design touch is the integration of the clutch slave cylinder into the primary drive cover, giving the engine casing a sleek look.

    Another unique touch to the Brough Superior SS100 is the twin-wishbone front fork, using cast-alloy girders. This put fewer moving parts on the steering, and reduces the sprung to unsprung weight ratio, a key factor in ride comfort and suspension compliance.

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    Brake calipers are specially machined for Brough Superior, carved out of a solid block of aircraft-grade 6082-T6 aluminium alloy, grabbing 320 mm 4D Ceramic Beringer aluminium-ceramic discs. It is claimed to be the first brake calipers machined for radial mounting, and is said to be 10% lighter.

    More aircraft technology transfer comes in the form of the Brough Superior SS100’s frame. Made in-house in Brough Superior’s facility, entirely from titanium, it is formed out of machined plates instead of the more traditional tubes. Weighing in at 186 kg dry, the SS100 stands 820 mm at the saddle. Wheelbase is 1,540 mm, which will give very sporty handling.

    In all instances, the Brough Superior SS100 is, quite possibly, the ultimate retro-style custom build you could buy, with properly updated modern components, and unique engineering design touches.

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    The options list is extensive, giving the buyer a choice of finishes – Traditional, Racing Full Black or Titanium. In the options list, five different leather covers for the seat are available, and a choice of alloy or spoked wheels in either polished or black finish.

    Like Lawrence himself, who eschewed the conventional ways and preferred the company of his Arab brethren, this is certainly not a mainstream bike, and is intended for the connoisseur or serious collector who appreciates motorcycle art. Pricing starts from 50,000 euro (RM226,000), and we assume depending on the types of materials and options, the final price will be not cheap.