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  • Indian Motorcycle and Jack Daniel’s whiskey team up for Indian Chieftain limited edition – only 100 units

    While we do not condone riding and drinking, there is a certain image of the biker as a hard-partying, hard-drinking rebel on a cruiser. To that end, two iconic American brands – Indian Motorcycle and Jack Daniel’s Distillery – have come together to issue a limited edition Indian Chieftain in a limited production run of 100 units, worldwide.

    Based on the standard Indian Chieftain with its 1,811 cc Thunderstroke V-twin, the Jack Daniel’s Indian Chieftain features a special white-and-black-crystal paint job. Work on this bagger was done by Klock Werks Kustom Cycles of South Dakota, US.

    As can be expected, the Jack Daniel’s logo features prominently on the paint scheme, along with the “Old No. 7” logo, the Jack Daniel’s trademark. The bike’s edition number is painted on the tank centre console, and the horn is covered by a pure silver cover made by Montana Silversmiths.

    Unique to the Jack Daniel’s Chieftain are cam, primary, and air intake covers, and a 200-watt sound system with saddlebag speakers is fitted as standard. Also standard is an electric windshield and Indian’s Ride Command infotainment and navigation system.

    Part of the limited edition package includes an American flag made from wood taken from casks used to store Jack Daniel’s whiskey. Each flag is customised with the owner’s name, motorcycle edition number and vehicle identification number. Billet-machined floorboards are added, emblazoned with Jack Daniel’s design elements including a reminder that “Bottles and Throttles Don’t Mix”.

    Priced at 34,999 USD (RM155,780), the Jack Daniel’s Indian Chieftain is part of a series of collaborations between the whiskey distiller and motorcycle maker. Previous editions included the 150th Anniversary Chief Vintage and Springfield motorcycles in 2016.

  • Evoke e-bike to be built by iPhone maker Foxconn

    Based in Beijing, China, electric bike maker Evoke Motorcycles has contracted with iPhone manufacturer Foxconn to build its Urban S e-bike. Priced at 9,400 USD (RM41,811), the Urban S is said to be much cheaper than competitors such as Zero Motorcycles, Energica and Johammer.

    Using a hub motor controlled by a 400 A DC wave controller with regenerative braking, the Urban S claims a range of 133 km for city use, while highway cruising at 80 km/h drops the range to 83 km. The battery is a 99.2 volt, 60 ah lithium-ion phosphate Evoke PowerPack, with a rated capacity of 9 kW-hours.

    In real-world power terms, this equates to 24 hp and 116 Nm of torque, with top speed limited to 130 km/h. Charging time is claimed to be eight hours, though a fast charger that brings the battery up to 80% capacity in three hours is available.

    A pair of 42 mm upside-down forks in front holds the three-inch width, 17-inch diameter wheel in place, while a monoshock does the job at the rear. Braking is with a pair of four-piston callipers clamping dual 300 mm discs at the front, and a single disc at the back is clamped by a single two-piston calliper.

    Also in the works is a cruiser styled e-bike dubbed the “Kruzer”, and while details are scarce, this version of the Evoke e-bike is claimed to have 230 km range per charge, with a 30 kW peak power motor and 135 Nm of torque. Availability of the Evoke Urban S is said to be mid-2017.

  • Magpul Ronin Final Release – last masterless samurai

    When Harley-Davidson pulled the plug on the Buell series of Harley-engined V-twin sports bikes back in 2009, Mike Mayberry and Richard Fitzpatrick, vice-president and president of firearm accessories maker Magpul Industries respectively, had the idea of taking the Buell 1125 engines, and placing it a limited series of motorcycles as engineering art. This begat the idea of “The Ronin”, a limited edition of 47 motorcycles, named after the 47 masterless samurai of Japanese legend.

    Carrying the 1,125 cc Buell V-twin, Ronin Motorworks – an entirely separate concern from Magpul – designed an entirely new frame and suspension for the engine, while retaining some of the best ideas from Buell. These included the beam frame, and rim-mounted disc brakes.

    A special Ronin Motorworks touch is the front-mounted oil-cooler, placed in front of the unique Ronin enclosed girder forks. A CNC-machined sub-frame carries the single rider seat and rear cowl, while another cast-and-machined alloy part functions as both the battery box and the rear-set foot-pegs.

    The limited production of 47 Ronin began in 2014, with a first batch of 12 machines, followed by 10 all-black Ronin at an increased price. Subsequently, there was a release of eight, six, four, and then 2 Ronin – all with different color schemes and features. The remaining five – dubbed Final Release Special -come with one-off paint designs from the factory and each will be unique.

    Each bike is named after the eponymous samurai of the 47 Ronin story of honour and revenge. The name is engraved on the bike and on the bamboo toolbox that comes with every machine.

    For the final release of five Ronin the specific names are Horibe Kanamaru (#5), Sugeno Harafusa (#4), Nakamura Masatoki (#3) and Teraoka Nobuyuki (#2), with numbers one and two already spoken for. The #1 Ronin, Oishi Yoshio, was raced by Travis Newbold to second place in the Top Heavyweight division of the 2015 Pikes Peak Hillclimb race, coming in behind the factory Honda team.

    Each comes with distinct paintwork, with the third and fourth Ronin featuring artwork by Colorado mural painter Scot Lefavor, whose art decorates buildings in the cities of Boulder and Denver. The second Ronin features art by Samuel Lee Turner in traditional Japanese tattoo illustration style.

    The fifth of the Final Release Ronin was designed by Jason Thielke, in a mix of linear style with dynamic motion. Thielke insisted on becoming the tool to the canvas by hand-masking each individual line, acid etching patterns into raw aluminum, and using blasting media to create contrasting elements.

    As can be expected from a motorcycle with a production run this limited, and with each bike being a unique piece of rolling art, the Ronin are not cheap, and it was impossible to find published prices for any Ronin. The last confirmed price for a pre-production Ronin was 38,000 USD (RM169,000) ex-works, back in 2014.

  • Police issue 150 summons and seize 59 motorcycles in latest “Ops Samseng Jalanan” on Kesas highway

    In the latest “Ops Samseng Jalanan”, an on-going effort by the police to rid Malaysian roads of motorcycle hooligans – colloquially known as mat rempit – 150 summons were issued and 59 motorcycles were seized. Held at the Kesas highway near Banting, Klang, it was reported by Harian Metro that “hundreds of mat rempit lost their minds upon spotting the police block” and rode dangerously to avoid police.

    This included riding recklessly and against the flow of traffic, endangering both themselves and other road users. However, their efforts were to no avail as police had secured all highway entrances and exits.

    According to Selangor Traffic Police investigation and enforcement chief, Superintendent Kamaludin Mohamad, 129 individuals and 120 motorcycles were detained and inspected during the operation held from midnight to 7 a.m. Out of these, 59 motorcycles were seized as well as eight other motorcycles abandoned as their owners fled the scene.

    The summons were issued for offences such as not having a license, expired road tax, illegal number plates and others, with those being detained aged between 16 and 30. The operation involved about 100 police personnel, assisted by enforcement officers from the Klang Town Council and Kesas highway staff.

  • 2017 Indian FTR750 flat track racing bike – RM222,575, customer edition, for racing purposes only

    Indian Motorcycle seems to be serious about taking the fight to that other American bike brand, and has now issued a race-only customer edition of its FTR750 flat tracker race bike at a price of USD 50,000 (RM222,575). With Indian Motorcycle’s “Wrecking Crew” race team campaigning the FTR750 on flat tracks in the US for 2017, customers were clamouring for a customer edition of the bike, though this is not, perhaps, quite what they wanted.

    Using a purpose-built 750 cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-valve per cylinder V-twin, the Indian FTR750 is designed specifically for flat track racing, going up against the Harley-Davidson XG750R, the Milwaukee brand’s first dedicated race bike in over four decades. The custom V-twin engine was developed in-house by Indian Motorcycle and is wrapped in a unique steel frame that gives a tight wheelbase, large, centrally-located airbox and lightweight carbon-fibre body.

    The chassis is adjustable in various ways, to allow for fine-tuning to the rider’s preferred race position, as well as to suit different courses and track surfaces. Ohlins does the suspension with 43 mm conventional front fork and rear fully-adjustable mono-shock, meant to keep the FTR750 flat and stable, giving traction when exiting a corner – and important trait for flat trackers.

    A flat seat allows the rider to move around on the FTR750, choosing the best position to suit the bike’s lean angle and find traction, and flat trackers lean a long way over. This means that, since the FTR750 is only designed to turn left, all the foot controls are located on the right side of the engine.

    Both Indian and Harley-Davidson have a history of flat track racing – prepared flat dirt tracks on oval courses taken from the days of horse racing – and this resurgence of interest from both brands is interesting. Having recently reviewed the Indian Chief Classic, we can vouch that Indian motorcycles do, indeed, handle well, and Harley-Davidson’s recent launch of the Street Rod 750 might mean that the American makers are now taking a keen interest in the middle-weight market.

  • 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod 750 US launch – RM38,771, now with twin disc brakes and ABS

    While being known as the template for the traditional American cruiser, Harley-Davidson, perhaps in an effort to attract a younger set of riders, has unveiled the 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod 750. Eschewing the use of copious amounts of chrome, the Street Rod is designed as something of a cross between a flat-tracker and a dragster, and retails at 8,699 USD (RM38,771).

    Carrying the same 750 cc, liquid-cooled V-twin as the current model Harley-Davidson Street 750, the Street Rod is said to be putting out 8 to 10 percent more torque and 18 to 20 percent more horsepower than the Street 750. Targetted towards the urban rider, the Street Rod also features an updated handling and chassis package along with its (calculated) 68 hp and 64 Nm of torque.

    This includes twin 300 mm disc brakes in front, with ABS now standard for the European market while remaining an option in the US. “It gets your attention. And we wanted a chassis to match, sharp handling and aggressive, perfect for urban cut-and-thrust and canyon carving,” said Harley-Davidson chief engineer Mathew Weber.

    The seating position for the Street Rod 750 is also revised, with the rider now at 765 mm above the ground – compared to the 716 mm of the Street 750 – and the foot-pegs are now located just behind the rider’s knees, giving a somewhat “normal” riding position. Suspension has also been revised, the front end suspended with 43 mm upside-down forks clamped by aluminium yokes, while the rear shock absorbers are now taller, with 117 mm of travel, an increase of 13 percent over the Street 750.

    A change to 17-inch wheel sizes for the Street Rod also means that riders will now have a chance to fit proper, grippy rubber to a Harley-Davidson, which, given the urban riding nature of this bike, makes sense. Adding to the street-riding nature of the Street Rod 750 is bar-end rear-view mirrors which can be mounted above or below the grips, and fold back without interfering with the rider’s hands.

    A re-designed tail-section now features LED tail-lights and turn-signals, with a standard halogen bulb up front. Three colour choices are available for the 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod 750 – Vivid Black, Charcoal Denim, or Olive Gold, but no official word has been issued on when this new “baby” Harley will hit showroom floors. The Harley-Davidson Street 750 retails in Malaysia for RM62,888.

  • 2017 BMW Motorrad R1200 GS Rallye X to compete in the Finke, Australia’s toughest off-road race

    That the BMW Motorrad R1200 GS is designed to cross rough terrain in comfort and control, much like a Range Rover, cannot be denied. Unfortunately, like the Range Rover, way too many GS-series machines never actually see any surface rougher that the road shoulder.

    BMW Motorrad Australia has a completely different view to this, and will be entering the 2017 R1200 GS Rallye X in the Finke Desert Race this June in Australia. Piloted by BMW Motorrad Australia’s marketing manager, Miles Davis, the R1200 GS Rallye X is the most off-road focused of the GS-series machines, with long-travel suspension designed for going fast on dirt.

    The Rallye X version of the GS is basically an R1200 GS with an updated “Sports Suspension” package that is a current option in the BMW Motorrad catalogue. The Rallye X comes with 190 mm and 200 mm of suspension travel front and rear, respectively, and uses the 124 hp liquid-cooled boxer engine found in the rest of the big GS bikes.

    Held in Australia’s Northern Territory, the Finke Desert Race is considered to be one of the toughest off-road races in the world. Covering 226 km each way, the “Fink”, as it is popularly called, runs from Alice Springs to the desert community of Aputula – known as Finke till the 80s.

    Around 500 entries were received for the 2017 edition of the race, with most riding 250 cc to 450 cc lightweight motocross bikes, thus making the big GS something of an outlier. “Riding a 200 kg R1200 GS is definitely a bit different. The pre-run went about as well as I could have hoped for,” said Davis.

    GALLERY: 2017 BMW Motorrad R1200 GS Rallye

  • Naza Premira brings Piaggio, Vespa, and Aprilia under one roof – sales and service for three brands in PJ

    In a move to consolidate sales and service activities for three brands it represents in Malaysia, Naza Premira – official distributor for Piaggio, Vespa and Aprilia – has established the Piaggio Motoplex Concept Showroom at the Naza Automall, Petaling Jaya. This includes setting up the Naza Premira Technical Centre at the same location, which is responsible for after sales service.

    “With this initiative, we ensure that our customers will have an ease of mind when buying any of our products where we provide complete services via our Sales, Service and Spare Parts,” said Farouk Faisal, chief operating officer of Naza Premira. Farouk also said Naza Premira currently has RM2 million worth of parts and accessories in inventory, with a further RM300,000 worth of stock at authorised dealers.

    The Piaggio Motoplex Concept Showroom will have its official launching in the second quarter of 2017. Owners of Piaggio, Vespa and Aprilia scooters and motorcycles may also have their machines serviced at 23 authorised service centres nationwide.

  • VIDEO: Marc Marquez rides on ice with Honda X-ADV

    After his recent foray on the slopes of Hahnenkamm in Kitzbuehel, Austria, with the Honda RC213-V race machine, MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez is at it again, this time with the Honda X-ADV adventure-styled scooter. Fitted with snow tyres, Marquez takes the X-ADV on the snow and ice in the famed Austrian ski resort.

    Using the liquid-cooled parallel-twin 745 cc engine from the Honda Integra and NC-series scooters, the X-ADV mates the power plant with dual-purpose styling, with taller suspension. Claimed to produce 53 hp at 6,250 rpm and 67.7 Nm of torque at 4,750 rpm, the mill is mated to Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission, giving automatic shifting.

    The X-ADV engine also features two ride modes, Drive and Sport, with ABS as standard. Drive mode gives the rider a smooth throttle response and power delivery, while Sport makes the engine more responsive and delays shifting gears.

    17YM X-ADV

    Manual selection of gears is done using the paddle switches on the left handlebar pod, like the Honda Integra and NC. Weight is claimed to be 238 kg, which makes the X-ADV something of a heavyweight by scooter standards, or by motorcycle standards, for that matter.

    Fuel for the X-ADV is carried in a 13.1-litre fuel tank, and seat height is a somewhat tallish 820 mm, with the wide footboards setting the feet apart when at a standstill. Availability for the Honda X-ADV is said to be in April, and will retail in the UK at 9,599 pounds sterling (RM52,203) with three colour options – Matte Bullet Silver, Pearl Glare White and Victory Red – listed on the Honda UK website.

  • Hesketh Valiant SC – 210 hp, supercharged, RM272k

    Remember Thomas Alexander Fermor-Hesketh, 3rd Baron Hesketh? Not familiar? How about Hesketh Racing, the last of the true privateer teams in Formula 1, back in the 70s? Still doesn’t ring a bell?

    Hesketh Racing, a team in the true vein of “gentlemen racers”, ran from 1972 to 1978, and gave James Hunt his start in Formula 3. In 1978, when the team folded, Lord Hesketh decided that the market needed was a true English motorcycle, in the vein of the Vincent Black Shadow.

    This led to the production of the Hesketh V1000, back in 1982, then a reformed Hesleydon Limited with the Vampire just a year later. Which didn’t last long. As is the case with many boutique manufacturers, finances were always an issue, and production stopped shortly after.

    The Hesketh name endured under Broom Development Engineering – Mike Broom was development engineer and test rider for the original Hesketh Motorcycles – and today produces a series of V-twin naked sports machines. Under the current stewardship of Paul Sleeman, Hesketh Motorcycles manufactures limited edition hand-built motorcycles at its works in Kingswood, Surrey, UK.

    With the issue of the limited edition Hesketh 24 – named after James Hunt’s racing number, with only 24 examples made – Hesketh has now come up with a concept machine dubbed the Valiant SC. Based on the current model Hesketh Valiant, the SC adds a supercharger that bumps the power figure up to 210 hp.

    Power comes from an S&S “X-wedge” 2,100 cc V-twin, coupled with S&S closed-loop engine management and a Rotrex supercharger. Developed in conjunction with UK engine wizards TTS Performance, power is claimed by Hesketh to be 210 hp at 5,500 rpm, with torque rated at 295 Nm at 3,000 rpm.

    The S&S V-twin drives a Baker six-speed gearbox, with a King Kong hydraulic clutch. and final drive is by chain. As can be presumed with a hand-built motorcycle, billet machined components abound, including the Hesketh three-piece Astralite-style 17-nch wheels.

    Braking is with Pretech callipers, a twin six-piston affair in front, and a four-pot unit grabs the rear brake. Suspension for the Valiant SC is done by Ohlins and K-Tech in the front forks, with a K-Tech Razor rear monoshock.

    Wet weight for the Hesketh Valiant SC is claimed to 239 kg, due in part to the twin-cradle chrome-moly steel frame, while oil is carried in the aluminium extruded box section swing arm with integral 4.5-litre oil tank. Rizoma supplies some of the fit-out kit, along with various other components by Magura, Smiths, Domino and Moto Gadget.

    Delivery for the Valiant SC is expected to be in the summer of 2018, and orders are being taken now. The Hesketh Valiant SC is priced at around 50,000 pounds sterling (RM272,000), ex-works.