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  • 2040 petrol and diesel vehicle ban to raise bike sales?

    Following the reporting of a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040 in the UK, as well as in France, the Motorcycle Industry Association in England has welcomed such a move as a “tremendous stimulus” for motorcycle manufacturers, according to a visordown.com report. The ban announcement is expected soon, and is prompted by the UK government to tackle air pollution.

    While no mention has been made about motorcycles and scooters using internal combustion engines being part of the ban, the association believes such a move will prompt the wide spread adoption of electric motorcycles. “For all the congestion-busting abilities of motorcycles and the abilities to make electric bikes I think it’s a tremendous stimulus for the motorcycle industry,” said Steve Kenward, chief executive officer of the association.

    It has been reported that motorcycles made before 2007 that do not comply with a minimum of Euro 3 standards will have to pay a 12.50 pound sterling (RM70) daily pollution toll when entering London, beginning 2020, while Paris has banned motorcycles made before June 1, 2000 from entering the city between the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from September 1.

     
     
  • Norton Motorcycles UK sells engine design to China

    To meet the current requirement for Euro 4 compliant motorcycle engines in many markets, ZhongShen Motorcycles of China has entered into a 20-year Design and License agreement with Norton Motorcycles UK. The agreement is for the engine design and intellectual property developed by Norton for an all-new 650 cc two-cylinder motorcycle engine.

    Jointly developed by Norton and engineering design firm Ricardo – which designed Proton’s GDI and TGDI engines – the 650 cc twin is licensed exclusively to the Chongqing, China, based company, and will likely be produced under its brand name or the “Cyclone” brand. In Malaysia, riders might be familiar with the Cyclone RX-1, badged locally as the KTNS 3 dual-purpose 250 cc motorcycle.

    No numbers were disclosed about the agreement, but a statement on Norton’s Facebook page said “millions of dollars” were paid by ZhongShen as initial consideration, and a royalty will be paid to Norton for each engine produced. In 2016, ZhongShen produced approximately 4 million engines of varying capacity, and claims a manufacturing output of over 1 million motorcycles a year with over 18,000 employees.

    “It’s a great endorsement of our new 650cc engine platform and shows the high level of engineering expertise we have here at Norton. Working with Zhongshen going forwards will enable them to deliver high quality low emission engines compliant to current global standards,” said Stuart Garner, chief executive officer of Norton. He continued, “the commercialisation of our IP is a key area for Norton and we will be investing the substantial revenue received back into our skills, training and engineering capability, thus ensuring long term sustainability to our British made Norton motorcycles here in the UK”

    While ZhongShen is a large manufacturing entity, Norton, once one of the most illustrious names in the motorcycle world, is today a UK-based low-volume boutique manufacturer of sports motorcycles. Norton strongly emphasised that while it is selling the design and IP license for the 650 twin to ZhongShen, it continues to hand-make all Norton motorcycles in the UK at its Donington Hall facility.

     
     
  • BMW Motorrad R-series boxer gets VVT and more hp?

    In a quest for more power and better emissions control, it has been reported that BMW Motorrad is developing variable valve timing (VVT) for its iconic R-series boxer twin engines. German publication Motorrad says the liquid-cooled boxer will also get a displacement increase, from the current 1,170 cc to 1,250 cc.

    Most known for being used in its best-selling GS-series dual-purpose and overlander adventure motorcycles, BMW Motorrad’s boxer is the second on the scene with VVT in a twin, the first being the Ducati Multistrada Testastretta 11 V-twin. Benefits from using VVT include increased torque at lower engine speeds without compromising top-end power.

    Powered by an liquid-cooled boxer engine with an output of 125 hp at 7,750 rpm and a maximum torque of 125 Nm at 6,500 rpm, the R 1200 GS carries a catalytic convertor and revised engine management in 2017 to meet current Euro 4 requirements. With the addition of VVT, along with increased displacement, BMW’s boxer can be expected to see a power gain that should bring it close to the Multistrada 1200’s claimed 152 hp and 128 Nm of torque.

    For 2016, BMW Motorrad’s best seller was the ‘R’-series, claiming over half, or 53.6%, of its sales volume, a total of 77,787 units. Of these, the R 1200 GS and GS Adventure sold 25,336 units and 21,391 units, respectively, with the R 1200 RT tourer trailing behind wth 9,648 units.

    In Malaysia, the BMW Motorrad GS Adventure has a recommended retail price of RM113,900, while the base model GS goes for RM102,900. Closest rivals to the BMW GS in Malaysia are the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S at RM115,000 and the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S at RM125,999. All prices include GST but exclude road tax, insurance and registration.

     
     
  • First look: Kenstomoto Ju – facing the war elephant

    Back in the 1980s, Metzeler tyres ran an advertisement with the tagline, “Fact: over 90% of Kawasaki owners prefer riding elephants.” This was, of course, in reference to the Metzeler corporate mascot, an elephant, and the photograph accompanying the print ad showed a rider in full race gear astride a pachyderm.

    So, when Kenny Yeoh, founder of Kenstomoto, and creator of custom motorcycles such as the Demolisher, P650R, BOBR and MechaStallion, told us he had a new machine on the table, we went over to have a look. His new brain child, painted yellow and black, clad in 3-D printed parts and shod with racing slicks, is called the Kenstomoto Ju.

    The Kenstomoto Ju – Ju meaning “10” in Japanese – came about in rather tragic circumstances, as Yeoh related to us during the bike’s photo shoot. The Ju started life as a 2004 Kawasaki ZX-10R, and was a racetrack refugee, being regularly tracked at Sepang International Circuit.

    Riding home from work on his daily bike, the owner was sadly killed in a collision with another motorcyclist, and the owner’s brother, and Yeoh’s friend, asked if he would take the ZX-10R over, as no one was riding it. Yeoh agreed, and then started scratching his head as to what he would do with a 13-year old machine, outdated by the standards of today’s superbikes.

    A full strip-down of the ZX-10R followed, and following the design style he first penned out in the MechaStallion, Yeoh laid out the framework for the Ju. “I went through seven design revisions for the Ju. This bike drove me crazy,” said Yeoh.

    Read about the Kenstomoto Ju after the jump.

     
     
  • 2017 Honda CBR650F and CB650F updated with new colour, spec – RM47,115 and RM44,995 respectively

    Updated with a mid-model facelift and new specifications are the 2017 Honda CBR650F full-fairing sports bike and CB650F naked sports, at RM47,115 and RM44,995, respectively. Both bikes also get new colours for 2017 – the CBR650F with Matte Gunpowder Black, while the CB650F gets, in addition to the new black, Millennium Red and Pearl Spencer Blue.

    Both the CBR650F and CB650F carry a 649 cc inline, four-cylinder, DOHC power plant that produces 89 hp at 11,000 rpm and 64 Nm maximum torque at 8,000 rpm. Power is transmitted through a six-speed gearbox, and final drive is by chain.

    Peak power has increased through revisions in the intake and exhaust system, and both Honda middleweights now carry an underbelly exhaust with short muffler end can. On the suspension side of things, the pair of 650s now sport new 41 mm diameter Showa Dual Bending Valve (SDBV) front forks for improved handling, while the rear carries a monoshock adjustable for preload.

    Nissin brake callipers for better braking performance are now installed on the 2017 CBR and CB 650s, clamping 320 mm diameter discs in front, with a 240 mm disc at the back.

    LED headlights now adorn the front of the CBR650F and CB650F, along with and LED tail light. The overall look of the CBR with its sharply angled headlights now strongly resembles the 2017 CBR1000RR Fireblade.

    Weight for the CBR650F is claimed to be 213 kg, while the naked CB650F clocks in at 208 kg. Fuel for both machines is carried in 17.3-litre fuel tanks. Seat height is set at 810 mm for both the CBR650F and CB650F.

    Complete colour options for the CBR650F, aside from the earlier mentioned Matte Gunpowder Black, are Millennium Red and Pearl Metalloid White, while the CB650F also comes in Sword Silver Metallic, besides the three new colours. The 2017 Honda CBR650F and CB650F will be available at all authorised Honda Impian Shops from August 1 and prices include GST, but exclude road tax, insurance and registration.

    GALLERY: 2017 Honda CBR650F


    GALLERY: 2017 Honda CB650F

     
     
  • 2017 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber on display – RM74,900

    On display at the Moto Guzzi showroom in The Gasket Alley, Petaling Jaya is the 2017 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber, which retails for RM74,900, including GST, but excluding road tax, registration and insurance. This Italian-made CBU retro-styled motorcycle is complemented by the V9 Roamer, which goes for RM73,900.

    Carrying a transversely-mounted air-cooled V-twin, the V9 Bobber’s 853 cc power plant is an all new design which is claimed to produce 55 hp at 6,250 rpm and 62 Nm of torque at 3,000 rpm. Power gets to the ground via a six-speed gearbox and shaft final drive.

    The V9 Bobber comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, mounted with Continental Milestone tyres, giving it that old school fat-tyred look. Meanwhile, its cruiser sibling, the V9 Roamer, has a 19-inch front wheel and 16-incher at the rear.

    Braking for the V9 Bobber is by Brembo, with a single disc front and rear. Two-channel ABS is standard, as is Moto Guzzi Traction Control (MGCT). The two-mode traction control works by controlling ignition advance, retarding engine torque when it detects wheel slip, and the system can be disabled if desired.

    Weight for the V9 Bobber is claimed to be 199 kg, identical to the v9 Roamer, and fuel is carried inside a 15-litre tank emblazoned with the Moto Guzzi eagle badge in metal. A single round instrument pod carries an analogue speedometer with a secondary LCD readout displaying engine revs, gear position, odometer and other information, including a shift light.

    For the V9 Bobber, the seating arrangement is a two-piece affair, with the pillion pad easily removed using a spanner to make the it a solo machine. Seat height – in solo mode – is set at 785 mm, and forward mounted foot controls are available as an option.

    Optional on the V9-series bikes is the Moto Guzzi Multimedia Platform (MGMP) which connects the V9 Bobber to the rider’s smartphone, and consequently to the internet, allowing the rider to share trip information and the such. There are two colour options for the 2017 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber – Nero Massiccio (Solid Yellow) with a yellow chequered graphic on the mudguards and on the tank, and Grigio Sport (Sport Grey) with a red chequered graphic on the mudguards and on the tank.

    Moto Guzzi motorcycles will make an appearance at Penang Bike Week on July 29 and 30. The first five buyers of a Moto Guzzi motorcycle in Malaysia get to experience the 2017 Moto Guzzi Open House in Mandello del Lario, Italy. Details are available at the Moto Guzzi showroom, and terms and conditions apply.

     
     
  • Mercedes-AMG sells MV Agusta for undisclosed sum

    In a sudden announcement to its shareholders, MV Agusta, the financially troubled Italian motorcycle manufacturer, said Mercedes-AMG has divested itself of its 25% stake. The German car maker’s quarter share of the Varese, Italy, firm has been sold to ComSar Invest, part of the Black Ocean group owned by Russian Timur Sardarov, who has interests in the oil and gas sector.

    This signals an end to the sales and marketing partnership the two firms signed in 2014, but appeared to be souring when MV Agusta was hit by lawsuits and a forced production slow down last year. However, Giovanni Castiglioni, president and majority owner of MV Agusta said the company was back on financial track after some restructuring.

    A statement released by MV Agusta said, “The new shareholding structure of MV Agusta Holding, which will control 100 per cent of MV Agusta Motor S.p.A., will see ComSar Invest as a strong minority shareholder and GC Holding, the investment company of Giovanni Castiglioni, owning the controlling stake.”

    No numbers were released in the announcement, but it was stated there would be a capital increase, along with a focus on MV Agusta’s core business, the production of high-performance, high end motorcycles. According to reports, Mercedes-AMG bought its 25% stake in MV Agusta for 30 million euro (RM149 million) in November 2014.

     
     
  • 2017 Suzuka race sees Honda field Malaysian-led team

    A Malaysian-led team, Satu Hati.Honda Team Asia, will be competing in the 40th Coca-Cola Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race (Suzuka 8 Hours) which runs from July 28 to 30 in Japan. The team will be led by Zulhelmi Ahmad, Muhammad Zarul Sirat and Mohamad Redzuan Kamis as team manager, chief mechanic and chief data engineer, respectively.

    The team will be fielding Malaysian rider Zaqhwan Zaidi (22), who will be partnered by FIM CEV Moto2 rider Indonesian Dimas Ekky Pratama (25), and Asia Road Racing Championship rider Ratthapong Wilairot (29), from Thailand. In last year’s Suzuka 8 Hours, Satu Hati.Honda Team Asia came in eighth, the highest placed Honda team.

    Team principal Makato Tamada, a former MotoGP rider, formed Honda Team Asia in 2012, with the intention of forming an all-Asian team to compete in superbike endurance racing. The team started with one Malaysian rider, Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman, and two Japanese riders.

    In 2014, Mohamad Zamri Baba joined the team for the Suzuka 8 Hours, with a seventh place result. In 2015, Azlan returned to the fold, but technical issues forced the team to finish in 18th place.

    After 2016’s eighth place finish, Tamada decided to retain the same line-up, and allow Zulhelmi to helm Honda Team Asia’s race effort at the Suzuka 8 Hours. Zulhelmi started his career in the Malaysian Cub Prix in 2002 and retired as a professional rider for Boon Siew Honda in 2007, joining Boon Siew Honda in 2010 as team coordinator for Musashi Boon Siew Honda Racing and promoted as team manager in 2016.

    Among the riders Zulhelmi has guided to success are Khairul Idham Pawi (SuperKIP), Zaqhwan, and Azlan. “It is truly an honour for Tamada-san to appoint me as the team manager for Honda Team Asia. We have faith in Tamada’s decision as well as the riders, hence we will do our best to bring victory for Malaysia,” he said.

     
     
  • Aprilia 1,000 cc V-four powered Griiip G1 single-seater takes maiden win in Formula X Italian race series

    Using a lightweight motorcycle engine in a four-wheel racing chassis is a good way to keep costs down and produce lots of horsepower, and the Griiip G1 single-seater does just that with a 1,000 cc Aprilia 65-degree V-four. Racing in the Formula X Italian single-seater race series, the Griiip G1 won its debut race.

    The Formula X Italian is a race series for single-seaters using a tubular frame and motorcycle engine, to aid keeping costs down and allowing for entry-level racing. Mounted longitudinally, the Aprilia V-four drives a Cardan shaft with a differential.

    Driven by Yarin Stern (21), the Griiip G1 began the race in pole position, at the Riccardo Paletti circuit near Varano de’ Melegari in Parma, Italy. A bad start saw Stern relegated to tenth place, but the Israeli driver fought back to take the G1’s inaugural win with a pass on the final lap.

    Together with Griiip, Aprilia Racing intends to continue developing this particular application of its V-four, bringing it up to World Superbike (WSBK) specifications in order to increase the G1’s overall performance. Electronics upgrades are planned for the car’s hardware and software, to adapt it to four-wheeled racing use.

     
     
  • 2017 Benelli Patagonian Eagle 250 cruiser on display

    During the launch of the 2017 SM Sport 110R in Penang recently, a 250 cc cruiser was seen on display, the 2017 Benelli Patagonian Eagle. While outwardly resembling a Keeway Dorado 250, this machine carries a parallel-twin instead of the Dorado’s V-twin, despite carrying a Keeway 250 badge on the side panels.

    This quarter-litre cruiser is a prototype for testing on Malaysian roads, and is currently installed with twin carburettors. However, we were informed by an MForce Holdings – Malaysian distributor and assembler for the Benelli, Keeway, SYM and SM Force brands – representative that the final local market model will have EFI.

    Scheduled to enter the market before the end of this year, the Patagonian Eagle carries a liquid-cooled, 249 cc, four-valve twin that produces a claimed 17.4 hp at 8,000 rpm and 16.5 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm. A five-speed gearbox and chain final drive gets power to the ground, via a 15-inch rear wheel.

    At the front is an 18-inch wheel with a single 260 mm diameter disc for braking. Suspension on the Eagle is conventional, telescopic forks with 120 mm of travel in front, and dual shock absorbers in the rear, where a drum brake does braking duties.

    Seat height on the Patagonian Eagle is a very typical cruiser 695 mm, low to the ground and rider-friendly, while dry weight is claimed to be 145 kg. There are two colour options for the 2017 Benelli Patagonian Eagle – matte black and matte red.

     
     
 
 
 

Latest Fuel Prices

PETROL
RON 95 RM2.03 (+0.06)
RON 97 RM2.28 (+0.06)
RON 100 RM2.92
VPR RM2.98
DIESEL
EURO 2M RM1.99 (+0.03)
EURO 5 RM2.09 (+0.03)
Last Updated 27 Jul 2017