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  • Honda reveals CB125X and CB125M concept bikes

    CB125M and CB125X Concepts

    Flying somewhat under the radar at the recent EICMA show in Milan, Italy was the public showing of the Honda CB125X and CB125M concept bikes. This pair of sub-250 cc motorcycles are the product of Honda’s research and development centre in Rome, using the 2018 Honda CB125R as the base.

    With the European 125 cc motorcycle market seeing a 25% increase in sales this year, it makes sense that Honda will want to cover every customer need when it comes to model variants. This means we can expect to see a more production oriented CB125X adventure bike and CB125M motard style bikes soon, possibly next year in 2019.

    Honda makes no bones about targeting the youth market with this duo, notably in the area of styling. The motard styled CB125M comes in brilliant red with a slit of an LED headlight giving the bike a minimalist look.

    The CB125X is much taller, being an adventure bike styled after the CRF1000L Africa Twin and comes with a three LED light setup in front – a headlight flanked by two riding lights inside the fairing. Clad in white, Honda says the CB125X is meant to evoke a science-fiction feel.

    Both the Honda CB125X and Honda CB125M were shown in the Design Studio area of its stand in EICMA and feature custom-built SC Project exhausts. The CB125X and CB125M are the brain child of project leader Valerio Aiello and his team, who penned the bikes’ avant-garde looks.

  • REVIEW: 2019 Yamaha YZF-R15 – lots of fun for RM12k

    We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: if there is one thing Yamaha does and does well, it is making small displacement engines that hit well above their weight class. A case in point is the 2019 Yamaha YZF-R15, its sports bike offering for the 150 cc market and priced at RM11,988.

    In the 150 cc market segment, Yamaha offers two other alternatives, albeit in the scooter side of things. These are the sporty Yamaha NVX 155 – which made it to our “Bike of the Year” list in 2017 and the slightly more conservative Yamaha NMax 155.

    Does the Malaysian market need a third 150 cc offering – third national car project notwithstanding? Well, for the YZF-R15, it addresses a market gap last filled by the Honda CBR150 and Kawasaki KIPS – something a little faster than the run of the mill kapchai and targetted to the young rider who wants a sporty bike with full-fairing that looks the business.

    The business is, of course, looking like you’re going at warp speed while waiting for the lights to turn green on Dataran Merdeka. But there is not a lot lacking in the performance of the YZF-R15, as we were to find out.

    Handing us the key to the YZF-R15, Yamaha’s technical person said to the author, “let me know what you think, I think you will like this engine.” Bearing Yamaha’s racing heritage, especially with 250 cc two-strokes, in mind, we set off on the YZF-R15 to find out what was what with the baby YZF.

    Read the full review of the 2019 Yamaha YZF-R15 after the jump.

  • MV Agusta shows 2019 motorcycle range at EICMA

    While Malaysians have somewhat turbulent memories of Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta, including the infamous sale of the firm for 1 euro and the recent closure of a new Malaysian distributor after barely a year in operation, it cannot be denied the Varese, Italy company makes some very beautiful motorcycles.

    During the recent EICMA show in Milan, Italy, MV Agusta displayed some of their 2019 model range – the Brutale 1000 Serie Oro among them – ranging from super bikes to race oriented track weapons to sports nakeds. With the company claiming a fresh injection of funds and resolution of its financial troubles over the past two years, MV Agusta looks to be re-entering the market on a strong foot.

    Making its debut at EICMA as a concept bike but scheduled for production in the second half of 2019 is the 2019 MV Agusta Super Veloce Ottocento, or Superveloce 800 for those of us who do not speak Romance languages. Derived from the F3 800 sports bike, the Superveloce 800 harks back to the racing machines of the seventies, yellow-tinted windscreen and headlight, mimicking the endurance racers of that era.

    The headlight itself is a circular twin-element LED unit accompanied by a yellow LED DRL located just inside the fairing at the base of the windshield. A new sub-frame design allows for the rider to transform the Superveloce 800 between single and pillion riding duties and the adjustable footpegs allow the rider to tailor the bike to fit.

    Targetted at the American market with its red, white and blue paintwork is the Dragster 800RR America. Launched last year, the Dragster America is updated for the upcoming riding season with new LED tail lights and DRL.

    An integrated steering damper is built into the the upper triple clamp and up-and-down quickshifting is standard. Of note are the passenger footpegs which fold away into the tail piece, giving the Dragster 800RR America a sleek, clean profile.

    Another variant of MV Agusta’s Brutale is the Brutale 800 RC, decked in carbon-fibre components including the front fender, inner rear fender, side panels and instrument cluster cover. Forged wheels finished in red along with RC style paintwork complete the look look of the Brutale 800 RC.

    In the middleweight sports bike stakes are the F3 675 RC and F3 800 RC – ‘RC’ standing for Reparto Corse or Racing Department – equipped with MV Agusta’s inline three-cylinder. As a limited edition motorcycle, both the 675 RC and 800 RC come with a dedicated race kit that includes a titanium SC Project full-system exhaust along with carbon-fibre and aluminium components.

    On the touring side of things is the Turismo Veloce RC, which MV Agusta says moves away from a segment “characterised by increasingly heavy and bulky bikes.” The 2019 Turismo Veloce RC comes with what MV Agusta calls the “Smart Clutch System”, or SCS, which allows for either manual or automatic clutch operation.

    GALLERY: 2019 MV Agusta Superveloce 800

    GALLERY: 2019 MV Agusta Brutale 800 RC
    GALLERY: 2019 MV Agusta Dragster 800 RR America
    GALLERY: 2019 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce RC

  • 2019 Moto Morini Milano and Corsaro launched

    A famous name from the hey-days of 350 cc class racing is Moto Morini and it is now back in the motorcycle market with the 2019 Moto Morini Milano and sportier Corsaro which comes in ZT and ZZ versions. Inspired by the famous Moto Morini 3 1/2 344 cc 74-degree V-twin, the Milano and Corsaro also come with two-cylinder arranged in a ‘V’, this time with an 87-degree angle and designed by Franco Lambertini, who created the original 3 1/2 mill back in 1969.

    Displacing 1,187 cc, the same liquid-cooled Bialbero CorsaCorta engine configuration is used in both the Milano and Corsaro, producing 116 hp at 8,000 rpm in the Milano, and 137 hp at 8,500 rpm in the Corsaro. Torque for the Milano is 108 Nm at 7,000 rpm, while the Corsaro ZZ produces 112 NM at 6,750 rpm and the Corsaro ZT peaks out at 125 Nm at 6,750 rpm.

    With styling strongly reminiscent of scrambler motorcycles of the 70s, the trio of sports nakeds gets power to the ground via a six-speed gearbox equipped with slipper clutch and reduced effort at the lever with chain final drive. The trellis frame is made from TIG welded CroMo steel and the Milano weighs 200 kg, while the Corsaro ZT and ZZ come in at 197 kg and 191 kg, respectively.

    Suspension is done with 46 mm diameter upside-down forks, fully-adjustable for preload and damping in compression and rebound, with 120 mm of travel on the Milano, 135 mm for the Corsaro. At the back is a monoshock, connected to the swingarm via Pro-Link and adjustable for preload, rebound as well as height, giving 110 mm of wheel travel for the Milano and 120 mm for the Corsaro.

    Braking, as is natural for an Italian motorcycle, is done by Brembo using a four-piston calliper, with twin 320 mm diameter discs in front and a single 220 mm disc with two-piston calliper in the rear, with radial front brake master cylinder and Bosch MP9.1 ABS is standard. Seat height for the Milano is set at 820 mm, while the Corsaro in ZT and ZZ flavours has a 860 mm tall seat.

    Inside the cockpit, the rider views a 5-inch full-colour TFT-LCD instrument panel which comes with user selectable display options. Rolling on 17-inch wheels front and rear, the Moto Morini Milano is shod in Pirelli Angel GT tyres while the Corsaro is shod in Pirelli Diablo Rosso III rubber.

  • 2019 Ducati Desmosedici GP19 gets handling fixes

    Coming to a close is the 2018 MotoGP season, with the penultimate round at the Shell Malaysia Sepang MotoGP at Sepang International Circuit. As part of events leading up to Sunday’s race day, Shell Malaysia organised an exclusive for with Paolo Ciabatti,

    During the discussion, which centred around the technical partnership between Ducati and Shell in the development of lubricants and fuel for motorsports use, Ciabatti touched on developments across 2018 for the Ducati Desmosedici MotoGP racing machine. This came about after several high profile racing incidents over the past few races involving both Ducati riders, Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso.

    “We have, as you know, had some problems with the handling for the previous races and we have made some changes to this year’s chassis,” said Ciabatti. “Now there is improvement in the handling which we will carry forward to next year,” he continued.

    Asked about the 2019 chassis, Ciabatti said the Desmosedici is currently the most powerful machine on the grid. “Right now, the Desmosedici is not lacking for power but we know the handling is still a little bit behind. For the next year, the chassis and swing arm have been improved for more stability,” said Ciabatti.

    “In 2019, with Jorge Lorenzo changing teams, we will have Andrea Dovizioso as our lead rider, while Danilo Petrucci will be given time to adjust to the Desmosedici,” Ciabatti said. Moving into 2019, Ducati Corse continues its technical partnership with Shell fuels and lubricants.

  • Aprilia opens official showroom in Malaysia

    In conjunction with the recent Shell Malaysia Grand Prix held recently, Didi Resources, official distributor for Aprilia motorcycles in Malaysia, launched the Aprilia Malaysia showroom and 3S service centre. The event also saw the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Welly World Cycle, Sheng Fatt SUperbike and Soon Hin Co. and Didi Resources.

    The memorandum sees the three motorcycle dealerships being appointed dealer representatives for Aprilia in Malaysia. Welly World Cycle, located in Sungai Buloh, will cover the central region, while Sheng Fatt Superbike in Penang and Soon Hin Co in Kuantan will cover the northern region and East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, respectively.

    Gracing the event was former Grand Prix motorcycle road racing World Champion and winner of the 2010 and 2012 World Superbike Champion Max Biaggi along with Aprilia MotoGP team riders Aleix Espargaro and Scott Redding. The Aprilia Malaysia showroom and service centre covers 2,104 square feet and is located at The Gasket Alley, Petaling Jaya.

    “Our vision is to create a new ownership experience for existing and new customers where owning a motorcycle goes beyond just the product. We will continue to invest in after sales improvement and value-added services to increase the ownership experience like dedicated track days, racing support, rides and gathering that is niche and unique to each Aprilia owner,” said Rewi Hamid Bugo, chairman of Didi Resources.

  • 2018 EICMA: 2019 Benelli 752S – 77 hp, parallel-twin

    After being away awhile from the larger motorcycle displacement range, Benelli has returned with the 2019 Benelli 752 S, its offering for the naked sports segment. Set to go on sale in Europe in the summer of 2019, the 752S goes up against rivals such as the Ducati Monster, Triumph 765, and Yamaha’s MT-07, to name some examples.

    Save for the fuel tank and front mudguard, the 752S has a minimum of a bodywork, bringing its trellis frame to the fore, alogn with the round-section steel tubing swingarm. This encapsulates the two-cylinder, 750 cc, liquid-cooled DOHC mill that produces a claimed 77 hp at 8,500 rpm and 67 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm, with power going through a six-speed gearbox.

    Betraying its sporting intentions is the Marzocchi 50 mm diameter upside-down fork, fully-adjustable, and the 320 mm diameter brake discs clamped by Brembo four-piston callipers. At the back, a 250 mm diameter single disc does the job with a single-piston Brembo calliper and two-channel ABS comes standard.

    Inside the cockpit, a full-colour TFT-LCD display can be found, along with LED lighting throughout. Fuel for the 752S is carried in a 14.5-litre tank with an overall weight of 228 kg.

    Seat height for the 2019 Benelli 752S is set at 810 mm and it rolls on 17-inch wheels shod in 120/70 and 180/55 rubber. There are three colour options for the 752S – white, black and green.

  • 2018 EICMA: KYMCO shows SuperNEX e-bike

    Moving into the electric motorcycle (e-bike) segment is Taiwanese scooter maker Kymco, with the unveiling of the Kymco SuperNEX. Saying that one of the issues for the acceptance of e-bikes amongst the riding populace is gear shifting, or the lack thereof, the SuperNEX comes with a six-speed gearbox to replicate the traditional motorcycle riding experience.

    According to Kymco, the SuperNEX is able to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds, with 0 to 200 km/h in 7.5 seconds and hitting 250 km/h in 10.9 seconds. These claimed figures are supported by Kymco’s Full Engagement Performance (FEP) which controls wheelies and wheel slip during launch and rear wheel lift during hard braking, ensuring every kiloWatt gets to the rear wheel with minimal loss.

    Kymco FEP also provides traction control for wet and slippery surfaces with degree of engagement and intervention user customisable. Sounds is also issue with e-bikes, with most tending to sound like a washing machine on spin cycle, but Kymco says it has addressed this with what it calls “Active Acoustic Motor.”

    From the press release, the SuperNEX has a motor which is “designed to convey the heartbeats of the machine.” This comes from a “multi-frequency acoustics generator that reconstructs the dynamic sounds of the motor with great authenticity.”

    The SuperNEX does not offer ride modes but instead, in Kymco parlance, offers “Adaptive Machine Personalities.” These are Poised, Assertive, Bold and Extreme, which we think correspond to Tour, Road, Sport and Race modes.

    Kymco neglected to provide any real performance numbers for the SuperNEX, aside from the above mentioned acceleration times. What we do know, perusing launch and press photos, is the Kymco Supernex rolls on O.Z. Racing wheels and Metzeler rubber, and is braked by Brembo, with suspension by Ohlins.

  • 2018 EICMA: Royal Enfield shows KX Concept bike

    A big surprise and huge deviation in design language happened at the EICMA show in Italy when Indian motorcycle manufacturer Royal Enfield showed the KX Concept motorcycle. Inspired by the classic KX 1140 V-twin motorcycle of the 1930s, Royal Enfield says the KX Concept is a showcase of their design prowess and was completed in a mere six months.

    Although an interpretation of the classic design, the connection between the KX Concept and its predecessor from 80 years ago can easily be discerned. Cues to the 1930s design can be seen in the wide handlebars, V engine, “floating” single seat, flat-tip exhaust and fuel tank finished in British Racing Green.

    Royal Enfield did not disclose the engine capacity of the KX but a “838” logo on the engine might be an indication. Exhaust exits on the right side, in the traditional style.

    A unique touch on the KX Concept is its suspension, with a girder fork – possibly made from aluminium – installed on the front end, and the headlight cowl integrated into the fork covers. At the back is a triangluar single-sided swingarm attached to a shock absorber under the seat.

    Modern equipment installed on the Royal Enfield KX Concept include disc brakes and rear, clamped by Brembo callipers, with the front wheel being a 19-inch hoop shod in Maxxis DTR-1 rubber. Chain drive gets power to the rear wheel and LED lighting is used throughout, while a circular digital instrument readout is found inside the cockpit.

  • 2018 EICMA: Husqvarna Svartpilen 701, Vitpilen 701 Aero Concept shown – tracker and cafe racer style

    More known for its prowess in off-roading and supermoto, Swedish motorcycle maker Husqvarna unveiled the Svartpilen and Vitpilen naked sports bikes a couple of years ago. At this year’s EICMA show in Italy, Husqvarna brings two variants to the table, the flat tracker styled Svartpilen 701 and the cafe racer inspired Vitpilen 701 Aero Concept.

    While it is not known if these two new iterations of the Svartpilen and Vitpilen will make it to the market, the minimalist styling of Husqvarna’s street bike offerings has attracted the interest of many riders. The 701 Svartpilen’s styling is inspired by flat track racers with taller handlebars and a race number plate on the side.

    The Svartpilen uses the same engine as the Husqvarna 701 Supermoto, a single-cylinder mill displacing 692.7 cc, with output claimed to be 73.8 hp. Power gets to the rear wheel via a six-speed gearbix equipped with a slipper clutch.

    Colouring for the Svartpilen is predominantly black and grey with colour coordination in that theme carried out throughout the bike. This includes the 18-inch front and 17-inch rear wheel, exhaust, 12-litre fuel tank, LED headlight housing and engine guard.

    A WP Suspension 43 mm diameter front fork is used, complemented by a WP monoshock in the rear with braking done by four-piston Brembo calliper in front clamping a single 320 mm disc and single-piston Brembo at the back with a 220 mm disc. ABS is standard fitment and all up weight is said to be 158.5 kg.

    As for the Vitpilen 701 Aero Concept, decked out in blue and white, this prototype betrays a racing design style, looking very much like a cafe racer. This is borne out by the front fairing, lowered handlebars and more aerodynamic styling such as the front mudguard.


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Last Updated 01 Nov 2018