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  • Malaysian couple take Honda RS150R supercub on extended honeymoon ride across 24 countries

    Riding a 150 cc Honda RS150R across 24 countries on an extended honeymoon, a newly-married Malaysian couple fulfilled their dream of waving the Jalur Gemilang in London, UK on August 31, Merdeka day. Mohd Alfishahrin Zakaria, 31, an ex-bank employee, and his wife Diana Latief, 30, began their journey 146 days ago, on April 8.

    Among the countries traversed by Alfishahrin and Diana were Thailand, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and France, before reaching their journey’s end in front of the Malaysian Consulate in London. Their journey was made possible by a programme from the Selangor Drug Prevention Association, and the couple spent nearly RM40,000 in personal funds during their epic honeymoon ride.

    Additional sponsorship and assistance was rendered by Boon Siew Honda, Honda UK, Givi Malaysia, STT Sprocket and MYBikerz. Alfishahrin has previously ridden the 1000 Corners in Chiang Mai in 2015, as well as a seven-border crossing of Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, China, Cambodia, Vietnam and Singapore in 2016.

     
     
  • 2017 Ducati XDiavel in Iceberg White paint scheme

    DU 2017-07-21 XDIAVEL

    Updated for the coming year is the 2017 Ducati XDiavel, with upgraded suspension for increased rider and pillion comfort, and a new colour scheme – Iceberg White. The white XDiavel is scheduled for its first public unveiling at the European Custom and Cruiser show in Faaker See, Austria, from September 5 to 10, now in its 20th edition.

    As Ducati’s take on the American dragster-style cruiser, the XDiavel carries a Testastretta 1,262 cc liquid-cooled V-twin, which produces 156 hp at 9,500 rpm and 128.9 Nm of torque at just 5,000 rpm. Desmosedici Variable Timing (DVT), the Borgo Panigale firm’s version of variable valve timing, allows for both low-end grunt and top-end speed.

    A new direction for Ducati on the XDiavel is the inclusion of belt-drive, which gives lower maintenance and a quieter driveline, as the expense of a touch more power loss. Also standard is Ducati’s Safety Pack, which includes ABS, traction control and ride modes into the XDiavel, allowing for better rider control and safety.

    Braking is with Brembo units, in this case monobloc four-piston M4-32 callipers grabbing 320 mm diameter discs in front. Suspension is with compression and rebound adjustable upside-down forks in front, and an adjustable monoshock in the rear.

    There are two models of the 2017 Ducati XDiavel available in Malaysia. The base model XDiavel retails at RM140,899 and comes with matte black paintwork, while the XDiavel S, priced at RM160,899, features a gloss black finish, along with machined accents on the engine and wheels.

    GALLERY: 2018 Ducati XDiavel Iceberg White

     
     
  • VW deal to sell Ducati derailed by its trade unions?

    As Dieselgate rages on, with fall guys being fined and other German manufacturers taking pre-emptive strikes against the fate that has befallen Volkswagen (VW), more news has emerged that a short-list of five bidders for the sale of Audi asset, Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati, will be perused in September. It was earlier reported that the sale was opposed by VW union members sitting on its supervisory board, which oversees the group’s asset sales.

    However, VW executives seem to be confused by the mixed messages being sent out, in a Bloomberg report. It was reported that Audi, as owner of Ducati, only started the process of an asset sale after being urged to do so by its parent company, according to unnamed sources.

    While VW is not compelled to sell Ducati, as it has shown it possesses ample cash reserves, motorcycle manufacturing is not a core business for VW, unlike BMW, which has seen good results from its Motorrad arm, as well as Honda, whose Powersports unit dominates the Asian market. On the bidders list is the Benetton family’s holding company Edizione and former owner of Ducati, Investindustrial, both of whom have declined comment.

    VW has expanded aggressively since 2007, acquiring Ducati for 860 million euros (RM4.35 billion) in 2012, as well as truck makers Scania and MAN. It currently has 120 factories across the world, employing 627,000 people, twice as many as Toyota, ranked second in the vehicle manufacturing rankings.

    After the resignation of Martin Winterkorn, current chief executive officer Matthias Mueller is seeking to streamline VW’s operations worldwide. This includes slashing 10 billion euros (RM50.58 billion) in costs from Audi, which is VW’s largest profit contributor.

     
     
  • 2017 Bianchi SF01 – the RM76k Ferrari you can afford

    Ferraris of any era, provenance or condition tend to command eye-wateringly high price tags, but the 2017 Bianchi for Scuderia Ferrari SF01 might be one you could theoretically afford, some 15,000 Euro (RM76,167) worth. Ferrari brand bicycles are not new, of course, with legendary Italian frame maker Colnago having previously made a series of “TF” road racing bicycles for the Prancing Horse.

    Made from carbon-fibre, the SF01 begins life as a Bianchi Specialissima, weighing in at 780 grammes for a 55-centimetre frame before being hand-painted. Prospective customers can then choose between Campagnolo Super Record EPS or Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupsets, and each SF01 comes equipped with a Fulcrum – Campagnolo’s off-brand range – Speed 40C wheelset shod with Pirelli P Zero Velo 25 mm clincher tyres.

    Design input for the SF01 comes from both Bianchi and Ferrari R&D and design engineers, and this extends to the custom-made components. In the case of the saddle, made by Italian brand Astute, and formed from 3K carbon-fibre weave said by Ferrari to be the same material as used in the seats of its racing four-wheelers, weight is only 94 grammes.

    Ferrari and Bianchi intend to extend the line into a full range of bicycles, from road bikes to mountain bikes, city to e-bicycles, as well as children’s bikes. As proof of this, a partial carbon-fibre frame, fork and headstock mock-up of a triathlon bike was shown at the Eurobike trade show in Germany recently.

    The 2017 Bianchi for Scuderia Ferrari SF01 comes in two colour options – Rosso Corse (Racing Red) and Nero Setoso (Silky Black). Availability of the SF01 will be from November of this year at premier Bianchi dealers, while the rest of the world gets it in 2018.

     
     
  • Confederate and Zero team-up for electrifying new bike

    As maker of some very avant-garde, beautiful pieces of rolling two-wheeled art, Alabama, US, boutique motorcycle manufacturer Confederate Motorcycles announced that it “can’t go any further than this” and is teaming up with California firm Zero Motorcycles to produce a twin electric motor electric motorcycle (e-bike). Geared towards the performance side of things, rather than the sedate, energy-efficient commuter e-bike, the new machine is to be named “Hercules”.

    In a nod to the racing machines developed by motorcycle racer and aviator Glenn H. Curtiss a century ago, the Hercules will spin out 175 hp and a road-ripping 393 Nm of torque says Matt Chambers, president of Confederate Motorcycles. It was not disclosed as to when production of the Hercules would begin, or be built, though it is likely Zero Motorcycles facility in Santa Cruz, California, would be utilised, reported the LA Times.

    Tasked with the design of the Hercules is Jordan Cornille, a graduate of the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. Early design sketches shown reveal “a sleek, streamlined cruising motorcycle”, narrow in the Confederate design style, but with an all-electric powertrain.

    The last of the Confederate line of boutique cruisers is the FA-13 “R-Code” Combat Bomber, with its massive girder forks and priced at 155,000 USD (RM661,462). With nine units left in stock, and a final production of 13 planned, the FA-13 will be the last Confederate using a V-twin internal combustion engine before production shifts to the Hercules e-bike, with over 1,300 builds sold across the firm’s 16-year existence.

    However, a change of name is on the cards for Confederate, and the company will be known as Curtiss Motorcycles, starting with the Hercules e-bike. This is to avoid the negative association of the brand with the Confederate states and the American Civil War, said Chambers.

    “I think we lost a lot a business with that name,” Chambers said. “We’ve missed out on branding opportunities. So, it’s time to retire it.” Cornille has been named as acting president of the newly-formed Curtiss Motorcycles.

    GALLERY: Confederate Motorcycles


    GALLERY: Zero Motorcycles

     
     
  • 2017 Honda CB150R ExMotion – RM13k in Thailand

    Taking the best of its know-how in large-displacement motorcycles, A.P. Honda of Thailand has launched the 2017 Honda CB150R ExMotion naked sports bike, with prices starting from 99,800 Thai baht (RM12,847). Trickle down technology into the CB150R from Honda’s bigger bikes include forks taken from the X-ADV adventure scooter, as well as the radial-mount four-piston calliper from the Honda CBR1000RR superbike.

    Carrying a 150 cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder with four-valves and DOHC, the CB150R’s power plant is Euro 6 compliant, and is fed by Honda’s PGM-Fi. No power figures have been released for the CB150R, but we would think 20 hp or so would not be out of the question.

    “The new 150cc engine which has been developed for top riding performance with excitement… the meticulous design of the body that has shifted the center of gravity to be close to the rider, to make the vehicle to be lighter and easier to control,” said Yoichi Mizutani, president of A.P. Honda.

    Suspension at the front uses a 41 mm diameter upside-down fork taken from the X-ADV, and is the largest fork to be featured in a sub-250 cc production motorcycle. Standard on the CB150R ExMotion is ABS with G sensor, installed on a four-piston, radial-mount brake calliper clamping a 296 mm diameter floating front disc.

    The CB150R comes with an all-new Inner Pivot Type Diamond Frame, designed to move the bike’s centre of gravity closer to the rider, making it easier to control. Also new is a lightweight swingarm developed using cues taken from Honda’s racing efforts.

    Complementing the CB150R’s new looks is LED headlights and tail-light, and a fully digital instrument panel, along with an aircraft-style fuel filler cap. There are four colour options – Pearl Cadet Gray, Millennium Red, Matt Laurel Green Metallic, and Asteroid Black Metallic.

    Base price for the 2017 Honda CB150R is 99,800 baht (RM12,847) while the ABS version which comes in gray-black and black paint schemes is available at an introductory price of 109,800 baht (RM14,134). In addition, Honda A.P. Thailand will be releasing three limited edition versions of the CB150R.

    Available in a limited quantities, these are the Honda CB150R Street Cafe (500 units) at 135,200 baht (RM17,404), the CB150R Scramble Cafe (1000 units) at 118,400 baht (RM15,241) and 500 units of the as yet unpriced CB150R Moriwaki edition which will be released in October. Also available is a range of accessories developed by Japanese motorcycle accessory makers Moriwaki, G’Craft, and Kitaco



     
     
  • 2017 Honda CRF250L and CRF250 Rally in Malaysia – priced at RM24,378 and RM28,618 respectively

    The Malaysian quarter-litre motorcycle class sees two new additions in the adventure bike segment – the 2017 Honda CRF250L and CRF250 Rally, priced at RM24,378 and RM28,618 respectively, including GST, but excluding road tax, registration and insurance. Taking design cues from the Honda CRF450 Dakar racer, the CRF250 adventure bikes – available from authorised Honda dealers from August 29 – are designed for the urban rider who likes things a little rough.

    Both the CRF250L and CRF250 Rally carry the same 249 cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC single-cylinder power plant that delivers a claimed 24.4 hp at 8,500 rpm and 22.6 Nm of torque at 6,750 rpm, fed by a revised Honda PGM-FI and throttle body. All-new for 2017 are the airbox, connector tube and lightweight exhaust that exits on the right.

    Power gets to the ground via a six-speed gearbox and chain final drive, and a primary balance shaft reduces engine vibration while the clutch is designed to withstand off-road abuse. Typical of motocross styled machines, the fuel tanks on both CRFs are slim, but the CRF250L is fitted with a 7.8-litre tank, while the Rally has a 10.1-litre tank.

    A digital dashboard is found in the cockpit, and ABS is standard equipment for both the CRF250L and CRF250 Rally, with the option of switching off the rear wheel ABS for off-road riding. Honda lists the kerb weight for the CRF250L as 146 kg, while the CRF250 Rally clocks in at 157 kg.

    On the suspension side of things, both the CRF250L and CRF250 Rally share the same setup, 43 mm diameter upside-down forks in front, and Honda’s Prolink monoshock at the back. Rolling on 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels, both CRFs get single hydraulic disc brakes front and rear, and as earlier mentioned, two-channel switchable ABS is standard.

    2015 CRF250L

    Seat height on the CRF250L is set at 875 mm, while the CRF250 Rally lifts the rider a lofty 895 mm off the ground. Only one colour option is available for both bikes – Extreme Red with black and white accents, and the CRF250L comes with a halogen headlight while the Rally gets a twin LED headlight setup.

    In Malaysia, direct competition for the 2017 Honda CRF250L and CRF250 Rally is the Kawasaki Versys-X 250, priced at RM23,789 including GST, though Kawasaki’s small-displacement adventure bike omits ABS. Another alternative is the KTNS 3, a China-made quarter-litre adventure machine marketed by MForce Bikes, and retailing at approximately RM13,000.

    GALLERY: 2017 Honda CRF250 Rally


    GALLERY: 2017 Honda CRF250L

     
     
  • 2017 Suzuki GSX 150 makes ASEAN debut – from RM7,642 to RM8,921, with keyless start and LEDs

    Initially making its debut in Indonesia, the 2017 Suzuki GSX 150 is now in Vietnam, Philippines and lately, Thailand. The GSX 150 line up consists of three models – the GSX-S150 naked sports, the GSX-R150 sports bike and the GSX-S150 Touring.

    All three Suzuki models carry a single-cylinder 147.3 cc, liquid-cooled DOHC power plant fed by EFI, and claimed to produce 19 hp at 10,500 rpm and 14 Nm of torque at 9,000 rpm. Power for the GSX 150 gets to the ground via a six-speed gearbox and the engine is the same unit used in the Raider and Satria, also known as the Belang in Malaysia.

    Standard fitment to the GSX 150 is telescopic forks in front with a single disc brake and 17-inch wheel fitted with a 90/80 tyre, while the rear end is propped up with a monoshock, single disc brake and 17-inch wheel shod in 130/70 rubber. Also common across the range is the fuel tank, with a capacity of 11-litres, while weight for the series hovers at around 130 kg, with a difference of a few kg between the models.

    The GSX 150 also comes with the latest in motorcycle technology with keyless start, LED main light and alarm location function which allows the bike to be located in parking lots. Also standard is a full digital meter that includes a gear position indicator.

    In Indonesia the GSX 150 is sold at 23.9 million Indonesian rupiah (RM7,642) for the GSX-S150, while the GSX-S150 Touring goes for 25 million rupiah (RM7,994) and 27.9 million rupiah (RM8,921) for the GSX-R150. The GSX-R150 comes with a full-fairing, while the Touring model is based on the GSX-S150, but is fitted with panniers, hand guards and windscreen.

    GALLERY: 2017 Suzuki GSX-R150


    GALLERY: 2017 Suzuki GSX-S150

     
     
  • 2017 Honda Monkey waves goodbye after 50 years

    The Honda Monkey, a minibike beloved of riders across the world, has hit the end of the road after 50 years, and ceases production this month. An announcement to this effect was made earlier this year, in response to dwindling Japanese domestic market demand for two-wheelers.

    Monkey fans headed to Honda’s headquarters in Tokyo, Japan to participate in a draw to win one of the last 500 Monkeys to be produced, with 45,333 of them putting down names. First brought to market in 1967, the Honda Monkey quickly found a fanbase amongst riders who wanted an easy to ride, small capacity motorcycle to navigate the narrow streets of Tokyo.

    Designed with folding handlebars and short wheelbase, and small enough to fit in a car boot, the Monkey was also easy to store in the typical Japanese urban home, where floor space is at a premium. With the model designation Z50M, the Monkey, along with the Gorilla variant, eventually became a best seller for Honda, alongside the legendary Supercub.

    The Monkey arose from a competition to design the smallest motorcycle, and first saw use in an amusement ride at the Tama Tech amusement park in Hino, Tokyo, which opened in 1961. The first road-legal Monkey with a 50 cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder engine appeared in 1967.

    Current motorcycle demand in Japan is reported by Nikkei Asia Review to be approximately 370,000 units, which is merely 10% of its peak in the 1980s. The next available option in Honda’s minibike range is the Honda MSX125, which is sold in Malaysia at a price of RM11,128.

     
     
  • 2017 Yamaha Fazer 25 launched in India – RM8,548

    After being spotted testing near it’s plant at Surajpur, India, Yamaha India has launched the 2017 Yamaha Fazer 25 at a price of 1.28 lakh rupees (RM8,548). Based on the naked sports Yamaha FZ25 launched earlier this year, the full-fairing Fazer 25 shares the same engine, chassis and components as the FZ25.

    Carrying the 249 cc, air-cooled, four-stroke, two-valve, single-cylinder power taken from the FZ25, the Fazer 25 is claimed to pump out 20 hp at 8,000 rpm and 20 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm. Power gets to the ground via a five-speed gearbox, and the thumper is fed by EFI, with an oil-cooler fitted to increase durability.

    Suspension on the Fazer 25 is with conventional 41 mm diameter telescopic forks up front, while a single shock absorber does duties in the rear. According to reports, the Fazer 25’s suspension remains unchanged from the FZ25, despite the addition of a full-fairing.

    Weight for the Fazer 25 is 154 kg, while the naked FZ25 clocks in at 148 kg. Fuel is carried in a 14-litre tank, and seat height is set at 785 mm, with two colour choices – Soulful Cyan and Rhythmic Red.

    Of note on the Fazer 25, which is targetted at the budget commuter and touring market, is full LED lighting, front and rear, while turn signals use traditional bulbs. Braking is done with a single disc, front and rear, and omitted from the 2017 Yamaha Fazer 250 is ABS, which is reported to be mandatory in India for motorcycles only in 2019.

    There is little chance Yamaha Malaysia would bring in the 2017 Yamaha Fazer 25, considering the specification level, and unlikely demand for an air-cooled, budget level 250 cc motorcycle. Locally, the Modenas Pulsar RS 200 – made by Bajaj of India – is close competition for the Fazer 250, based on engine configuration, and retails for RM11,432, along with the Naza N5R at RM13,888.

     
     
 
 
 

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Last Updated 21 Sep 2017