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  • Ducati Panigale V4 25th Anniversary 916 in Malaysia – worldwide production limited to 500 units; RM360k

    Ducati is no stranger to limited edition models, and the latest to arrive on our shores is the Panigale V4 25th Anniversary 916. Just 500 units have been produced for markets worldwide, and this one here is the sole unit in Malaysia. This particular example has already been sold, however it is still on display at the Ducati showroom in Petaling Jaya.

    Based on the 2019 Panigale V4 S with select changes including the front frame from the racing homologation Panigale V4 R, the V4 25th Anniversary celebrates the milestone of the Ducati 916’s launch in 1994, which went on in its racing iterations to win 120 races, eight constructors’ titles and four riders’ titles, four of which with ‘King’ Carl Fogarty at its controls.

    This limited edition and its colour scheme was inspired in particular by Fogarty’s 1999 race bike, bringing the number ‘1’ and ‘Foggy’ graphics with it on its bodywork. Specific to the 25th Anniversary model are the Akrapovic titanium exhaust silencers, taller racing windscreen, unique seat, carbon-fibre mudguards, adjustable foot pegs, carbon-fibre heel guards and swingarm cover, racing grips and articulated levers as well as a billet machined top yoke engraved with the edition number.

    The 25th Anniversary 916 edition also gets Marchesini Racing forged magnesium wheels, dry slipper clutch assembly and the electronics suite comprised of the Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) EVO 2 and Ducati Traction Control (DTC) EVO 2, Ducati Slide Control (DSC), Ducati Wheelie Control EVO (DWC EVO), Ducati Power Launch (DPL) and Engine Brake Control EVO (EBC EVO).

    Also present is the Ducati Data Analyser+ (DDA+) with GPS module, in addition to a host of other parts made of carbon-fibre and billet aluminium. Here, the powerplant remains the 1,103 cc 90-degree V4 Desmosedici Stradale engine as on the ‘regular’ Panigale V4 S, which produces 214 hp at 13,000 rpm and 124 Nm of torque at 10,000 rpm.

    Similarly, suspension continues to be the electronically controlled setup of an Ohlins NIX30 43 mm fork in front and Ohlins TTX36 rear shock, while brakes are Brembo Stylema monobloc units in front with 330 mm-diameter discs with Cornering ABS EVO. With fluids, the Panigale V4 25th Anniversary weighs 194 kg.

     
     
  • 2020 TVS Apache RR310 – ride-by-wire, LCD display

    Updated and revised for this year is the 2020 TVS Apache RR310, newly released in the India market. At first glance, updates appear confined to new graphics and colours for this quarter-litre class sports bike.

    However, changes go a little deeper than that as the 2020 Apache 310RR is the first TVS motorcycle to come with ride-by-wire throttle. Naturally, this enables riding modes which come in Urban, Sport, Rain and Track settings that alter the power delivery, peak power and ABS settings.

    Aside from that, when the rider changes modes, the new five-inch TFT-LCD screen display, resembling a smartphone with its vertical orientation, changes to suit. Adding to the Apache 310RR’s functionality is the ability to connect to the rider’s smartphone, giving information on track telemetry, navigations and other functions.

    Mechanically, the 2020 Apache 310RR differs little from the 2017 first generation model. This means the single-cyinder, DOHC, 313 cc mill producing 34 PS at 9,700 rpm and 27.3 Nm of torque is carried over, mated to a six-speed gearbox and slipper clutch.

    Both the front and rear brake on the Apache 310RR use Brembo’s house brand, Bybre, with two-channel ABS as standard equipment. Suspension is with telescopic front fork and rear gas-filled monoshock while fuel is carried in an 11-litre tank and weight is claimed to be 174 kg.

     
     
  • 183 deaths on second last day of Ops Selamat 16

    A day before the end of Ops Selamat 16, police reported a death toll of 183 on Malaysian roads and highways. Out of a total of 18,830 accidents, 166 were fatal, with Selangor recording the highest number at 5,302 crashes in 12 days.

    This was followed by Johor with 2,944 reported crashes, Kuala Lumpur with 2,095 and Perak with 1,584. Ops Selamat 16, which began on January 18 and is scheduled to end tomorrow, February 1.

    Motorcyclists and pillion riders accounted for 119 of the total number of deaths. Speaking on the matter, Bukit Aman Traffic Enforcement and Investigations Department director Datuk Azisman Alias said 313,936 summonses were issued thus far.

    Of these, 197,454 concerned the six offences focused on by Ops Selamat – using mobile phones while driving, beating traffic lights, driving over speed limits, misusing emergency lanes, cutting queues and overtaking on double lines, reports The New Straits Times.

    The death toll is a rise of 28 over the previously reported number of 138, just three days ago. In the same earlier report, Alias was quoted as saying 233,454 summonses were issued, an increase of 80,482 summonses.

     
     
  • Norton Motorcycles enters administration over taxes

    Unable to dodge the tax man, Norton Motorcycles UK has been placed under administration. Earlier, entrepreneur and property developer Stuart Garner, who owns the Norton brand name, said Norton owed UK tax authorities 300,000 pounds sterling (RM1.61 million) and could be liquidated if it was not given more time to pay.

    The decision to place the Castle Donington firm under administration is likely to put 100 jobs in jeopardy. In 2019, Garner had said Norton was doing well and there were plans to open another production facility.

    Bought by Garner in 2008 after the previous owner faced financial difficulties in bringing a prototype to production, Norton evolved into a premium price, low volume, hand-built motorcycle manufacturer. Its most recent model, the Norton V4 RR, was priced at 28,000 pounds sterling (RM149,886).

     
     
  • Honda CBR250RR in Malaysia by end of 2020?

    Released back in 2016 for the Indonesia and Japan markets, the Honda CBR250RR has been lusted after by many Malaysian riders. It appears that some things come better late than never as paultan.org was informed by an unnamed source in Malaysian distributors Boon Siew the CBR250RR might be in Malaysia by late 2020.

    As Honda’s current offering in the quarter-litre sports class is the very long in the tooth CBR250R, it is perhaps time for a major model update. However, we were informed by Boon Siew Honda the primary reason the CBR250RR is not brought in is because of Euro conformance – Malaysia follows the Euro standard closely for emissions – and price, which, compared against its local market competition, would be somewhat prohibitive.

    All is not lost as we were reliably informed steps are being taken by the boys in Batu Kawan to bring in the CBR2500RR as a limited release model intended for the enthusiast. No firm mention on pricing, but expect to pay a premium over what is considered the norm for the 250 cc sports bike class here.

    Boon Siew Honda recognises that Malaysian riders will probably raise a hue and cry over what the possible sales price will be, but for those who had earlier commented on paultan.org articles on the CBR250RR about buying it, now is the time to start saving the pennies. For Malaysia, the CBR250RR’s main competition is the very popular Yamaha YZF-R25, priced at RM19,998 but lacks the CBR250RR’s ABS and traction control package.

    The CBR250RR in its first generation guise comes with an eight-valve, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled engine displacing 249.7 cc. Power from Honda’s quarter-litre twin is claimed to be 36 hp at 12,500 rpm and 22.5 Nm torque at 10,500 rpm, though there have been reports this has been bumped up to 41 hp for the second generation CBR250RR.

     
     
  • Quartararo joins Yamaha Factory Racing in 2021 MotoGP, Rossi makes final decision mid-2020

    In the game of MotoGP musical chairs, 2019 MotoGP Rookie of the Year Fabio Quartararo, currently riding Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team, announced that he has signed for Yamaha Factory Racing for the 2021 – 2022 seasons. He will join Maverick Vinales at Yamaha Factory Racing after completion of his contract with Petronas Yamaha and both will be astride a fully factory supported YZR-M1.

    Meanwhile, fan favourite Valentino Rossi, while having been promised a factory Yamaha for as long as he wants it, has struggled with the YZR-M1 the past two seasons and and not produced many notable results. Quartararo, in 2019, with six pole positions and standing atop the podium seven times in 2019, is seen as a rising star and probable future champion in MotoGP.

    Rossi’s contract with Yamaha ends in 2020 and the former nine-time world champion will be making a final decision on whether he will continue to participate in 2021. This was requested by Rossi in order to evaluate his competitive speed compared to the rest of the grid after the first seven or eight races of the 2020 MotoGP season.

    “It is clear that after the last technical changes and with the arrival of my new crew chief, my first goal is to be competitive this year and to continue my career as a MotoGP rider also in 2021. Before doing so, I need to have some answers that only the track and the first few races can give me,” said Rossi.

    “I‘m delighted about what my management has achieved in the last few months together with YMC (Yamaha Motor Corporation). It was not simple to establish, but now I have a clear plan for the next three years and I‘m really happy,” Quartararo said. First look at the 2020 MotoGP bikes and riders happens on February 7 to 9 at Sepang International Circuit.

     
     
  • 2019 Harley-Davidson US sales drop by 8.5% in Q4 – Euro market H-Ds from Thailand to bypass 25% tariff

    Despite an expanding US economy, sales of Harley-Davidson (H-D) for 2019 reached its lowest point in the past 16 years. A fourth quarter report by H-D showed its income from motorcycle sales in the US fell by 8.5% to USD 874.1 million (RM3.56 billion), exceeding analysts predictions of a 3.4% drop.

    The figure represents a total of 40,454 motorcycles sold in the US, versus a forecast of 41,700 units. According to chief executive officer Matthew Levatich, H-D’s heavy and expensive bikes were competing for “people’s scarce time, people’s scarce funding and commitment,” in a Reuters report.

    Acknowledging the Milwaukee based motorcycle maker is facing significant challenges, Levatich said H-D is looking forward to new bike launches and its Livewire electric motorcycle to draw in new riders. H-D is also banking on expanding business operations internationally, notably in South-East Asia and China.

    For 2019, H-D’s sales in the Asia-Pacific region rose by 2.7%, bolstered by its Thailand production facility coming online. H-D also plans to launch a small displacement motorcycle in China in the later part of 2020.

    Expectations are high for sales in the Europe market to lift H-D’s fortunes, having obtained permission from the European Union to allow shipments from Thailand and circumventing the 25% retaliatory tariff on imports of US made motorcycles. H-D’s earnings forecast for 2020 is estimated to be between USD 4.53 billion (RM18.4 billion) to USD 4.66 billion (RM19.0 billion), compared to USD 4.57 billion (RM18.64 billion) in 2019.

     
     
  • 2020 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Pro and 1100 Sport Pro revealed – expected in Malaysia by third quarter

    Scheduled to hit the European market in March is the 2020 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Pro and Scrambler 1100 Sport Pro, its pair of retro-styled do-anything motorcycles. Presenting more of a mid-model update than a revised machine, the Scrambler 1100 Pro and 1100 Sport Pro now come with a new two-tone paint scheme called “Ocean Drive” with Malaysia market release expected in the third quarter of 2020.

    The frame on the Scrambler 1100 Pro now comes in black, as does the sub-frame and aluminium side covers. The twin exhaust pipes exit on the right side and the rear mudguard is tucked in closer to the seat to give the 2020 Scrambler 1100 a tidier back end, along with a black metal ‘X’ inside the headlight for that 70’s retro dirt racer look.

    For the Scrambler 1100 Sport Pro, it is differentiated from the base Scrambler 1100 Pro by the use of Ohlins suspension front and rear while the Pro uses a Marzocchi fork and Kayaba monoshock. The Sport Pro also uses low-rise handlebars and cafe racer type bar end mirrors while both the Scrambler 1100 Pro and Sport Pro come with a seat clad in a new seat cover material for increased comfort.

    Motive power for the Scrambler 1100 comes in the form of an air-cooled V-twin displacing 1,079 cc, producing 86 hp at 7,500 rpm and 88 Nm of torque at 4,750 rpm. Riding aids include Ducati Traction Control developed specifically for the Scrambler 1100 Pro and Sport Pro as well as cornering ABS and three ride modes – Active, City and Journey.

    Fuel is carried inside a 15-litre tank and seat height is 810 mm for the Scrambler 1100 Pro with wet weight claimed to be 206 kg. Braking is done by Brembo with radial-mount Monobloc M4.32 four-piston callipers grabbing 320 mm diameter discs in front.

    In Malaysia, the current model 2019 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Special is priced at RM85,900 while the Scrambler 1100 Sport goes for RM89,900. Also available is the base model Ducati Scrambler 1100 at RM79,900 and all prices do not include road tax, insurance and registration with Ducati Malaysia offering a RM10,888 rebate on all Scrambler 1100 models till February 15.

     
     
  • 2022 sees Triumph enter sub-750 cc market with Bajaj

    A non-equity partnership has been signed between Triumph Motorcycles and Bajaj Auto to produce middleweight motorcycles, entering the market in 2022. Manufacturing will take place in Bajaj’s plant in Chakan, India and will cover motorcycles from 200 cc up to 750 cc with pricing starting from 200,000 Indian rupees (RM11,300).

    While no details have been made public on quantity, the Bajaj plant in Chakan, which paultan.org visited in 2017, has a daily production capacity of 100,000 units a month. Distribution and sales in India will leverage on Bajaj’s dealer network throughout the sub-continent.

    However, motorcycles produced under the manufacturing partnership will also be sold worldwide via Triumph’s international dealer network. Under the agreement, the sub-750 cc two-wheelers will be developed jointly by Triumph and Bajaj with Triumph overseeing the design, ride and handling, reports website ndtv.com.

    Addressing the issue facing the global motorcycle market about attracting a younger rider demographic, Triumph chief executive officer said, “This is an important partnership for Triumph, and I am delighted that it has now formally commenced. As well as taking our brand into crucial new territories, the products that will come out of the partnership will also help attract a younger, but still discerning, customer audience and is another step in our ambitions to expand globally, particularly in the fast-growing markets of South East Asia, but also driving growth in more mature territories like Europe.”

    “The Triumph brand is an iconic one the world over. So, we are confident that there will be a huge appetite in India and other emerging markets for these new products. We look forward to working alongside such a famous motorcycle company and to leveraging each other’s strengths and expertise to make the relationship a success for everyone,” said Bajaj managing director Rajiv Bajaj.

    Reached for comment, Datuk Razak Al-Malique Hussain, chief executive officer of Fast Bikes, official Triumph distributors for Malaysia, welcomed the news. “The Triumph Bajaj tie up is very positive. We can expect entry level bikes in true Triumph tradition of great bikes to ride but now at superb value for money prices. This is indeed fantastic news for us and in summary this collaboration will allow Triumph Malaysia to enter new market segments, thereby reaching a whole new group of motorcyclists across the board,” he said.

     
     
  • 2020 MotoGP: Mission Winnow Ducati Team

    In a presentation in Bologno, Italy, Ducati Corse unveiled the 2020 Ducati Desmosedici GP20 in Mission Winnow Ducati Team colours. Ridden by Andrea Dovizioso (#04) and Danilo Petrucci (#9), this year’s Desmosedici GP20 comes in red with black and chrome accents.

    Last year’s racing season saw Dovizioso come in second in the world championship standing with 269 points and two race wins. Team mate Petrucci was sixth in the championship with 176 points and one race win.

    For 2020, Luigi Dall’Igna, Ducati Corse general manager, said the team is still not satisfied. “We can’t say that we are completely satisfied as our ultimate goal remains the same: winning the championship title. 2020 will be even more intense and demanding with 20 races scheduled in the calendar, and our rivals will be even more competitive,” said Dall’Igna.

    Speaking about Ducati’s racing efforts and the trickle down effect on Ducati’s road-going performance machines, Ducati Motor Holdings chief executive officer Claudio Domenicali said racing is a fundamental part of the company’s DNA and will remain so. “If we sum the R&D done for the production line, for racing and the assets needed to produce new models, the global Ducati R&D is worth more than 10% of the revenue,” commented Domenciali on Ducati’s investment in racing technology.

    The Desmosedici GP20 will make its debut at Sepang International Circuit on February 7 to 9 for the official MotoGP test. The 2020 Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix will be held on the weekend of November 1.

     
     
 
 
 

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Last Updated 15 Feb 2020