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  • BMW Motorrad presents Concept Link e-scooter

    Inspired by the Vision Next 100, BMW Motorrad presented the BMW Motorrad Concept Link zero-emission scooter at the 2017 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Cernobbio, Italy. The design combines digital connectivity with the demands of two-wheeled urban mobility.

    Not simply a future “pie-in-the-sky” concept, the Concept Link is designed to address the needs of today’s riders, in a connected urban environment. Flat battery packs in the floorboard and a hub drive in the rear wheel translate into a low-slung, stretched body that makes getting on easy from either side, or mounting from the back.

    “The BMW Motorrad Concept Link stands for a new understanding of urban mobility. It links the digital and analogue world and places the focus on the rider and his mobility needs. In the way it links functionality and digitalisation it performs both as a means of transport as well as a communication device. For me the BMW Motorrad Concept Link, with its timeless and reduced style, is more than a concept – it is rather a symbol for a new era.” said Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design of BMW Motorrad.

    The seat is adjustable lengthwise to suit different rider preferences and can be configured as a solo saddle or bench seat, while the under seat luggage compartment is accessible via a sliding door. Gone from the Concept Link is the traditional instrument cluster, with speed, navigation and battery information projected onto the windshield directly into the rider’s field of vision.

    Secondary information is displayed on the large-surface panel, located below the handlebars. The touch-sensitive panel displays and controls extensive infotainment, connectivity and routing information, and is also controlled by buttons on the handlebars so the rider does not need to remove his or her hands.

    The side panels fall short of completely covering the rear of the Concept Link but stretch across the vehicle’s side like little wings showing off technical elements like the drive unit, cooling ribs, single-sided swing arm, spring strut and tooth belt while improving aerodynamic air flow. “The resulting expressive power of the vehicle is absolutely new for BMW Motorrad and breaks with all conventional viewing patterns,” explains Alexander Buckan, Head of Vehicle Design at BMW Motorrad.


     
     
  • Honda’s LoveCubSnap site brings Cub lovers together

    The ubiquitous Honda Cub, or kapchai, is where many bikers first cut their riding teeth. With Honda projecting sales of the Honda Cub – first sold in 1958 – to reach a total of 100 million units in 2017, it has put together a project to gather Cub owners and lovers worldwide together.

    A website – click here – has been created to allow for Honda Cub owners from around the world to post pictures of themselves with their Cubs of any generation. There are some simple rules to participate in the website, first by joining up, then uploading and properly sizing your photograph according to the guidelines.

    There are no prizes, save for the satisfaction of participation and being part of the global Cub family. Except for the North and South poles, there is unlikely to be anywhere in the world you cannot find a Honda Cub.

    In Malaysia, the Honda EX5 Dream Fi is the culmination of 50 years of kapchais, with its air-cooled, single-cylinder 109.1 cc engine. Fed by Honda’s PGM-Fi, the EX5 Dream puts out a claimed 8.35 hp at 7,500 rpm and 8.4 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm.

    The standard model Honda EX5 Dream Fi – with spoked wheels and tubed tyres – is sold in Malaysia at RM4,715.94 for kickstart, and RM4,959.74 for electric start. There is also a 2017 Honda EX5 Dream Limited Edition which retails at RM4,874.94.

     
     
  • MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi in hospital

    Multiple MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi is undergoing observation in a Rimini, Italy, hospital with chest and abdominal injuries sustained after a crash during training at the Crossodromo Cavallara, located 50 km from Rossi’s home town of Tavullia. Rossi was riding motocross when the incident occured.

    A Yamaha Racing statement confirmed that Rossi did not suffer any fractures and there is no evidence of serious trauma. However, Rossi remains under medical observation, with an official update expected at noon European time today.

    Rossi has not ridden motocross since 2010, when an accident that damaged his tendons and ligaments put an end to his championship season. He has since preferred training with flat track racing, most usually at the VR46 Moto Ranch in Tavullia, where the VR46 Academy is held each year.

     
     
  • Harley-Davidson to build Thailand assembly plant

    As part of its plan to increase global sales growth, Harley-Davidson (H-D) is building an assembly plant in Thailand. Expected to come online in 2018, the H-D plant will assemble CKD motorcycles using components shipped from H-D’s US factories or suppliers.

    The plant is expected to serve demand for H-D motorcycles in China and South-East Asia, with a goal of having international sales being half of H-D’s annual sales by 2027. “Asia Pacific is a growth market for Harley-Davidson because of its expanding economy, growing middle class, positive consumer spending trends and increasing market demand for larger motorcycle sales,” a H-D spokesperson said in New York Times report.

    H-D currently has international assembly plants in India and Brazil, along with its factories in Wisconsin, Missouri and Pennsylvania, US. This move by H-D is expected to lower the price of its products in regional markets, where high import tariffs are imposed for motorcycles.

    In Thailand, an import tariff of 60% is imposed by the government, while India has a 100% tariff for imported motorcycles. “By building this assembly plant, we will be closer to these consumers and can be more responsive and competitive in this very important region to enable overall company growth,” the spokesperson said.

    The demand for large displacement motorcycles in the US, where H-D dominates the market, has been softening, primarily due to an aging rider demographic. H-D is currently concentrating efforts on its Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) and Street-series motorcycles, the latest of which is the 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod 750, in a bid to draw in a younger, sportier, riding crowd.

     
     
  • 2017 Ducati Multistrada 950 on display at roadshow, RM85,900 – 2017 Ducati Monster 797 from RM55,900

    The 2017 Ducati Multistrada 950 is on display at the One Utama shopping mall in Petaling from May 24 to May 28, ahead of its official Malaysian launch, scheduled to be held in July. Slated to go on sale the same month with prices starting from RM85,900, the Multistrada is the latest addition to Ducati’s dual-purpose sport-touring range, which starts with the Multistrada 1200, priced from RM114,999.

    Launched at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy, in 2016, the Multistrada 950 carries a 937 cc Testastretta 11, liquid-cooled, V-twin engine that produces 113 hp at 9,000 rpm and 96.2 Nm of torque at 7,750 rpm. Following the design of the Multistrada 1200 closely, the Multistrada 950 is lighter than its big sister at 229 kg compared to 239 kg.

    It also comes with an 840 mm seat height, with 820 and 860 mm seats available as options, compared to the standard 825 to 845 mm adjustable unit on the 1200. Standard on the 950 is power and riding modes, and the Ducati Safety Pack which provides ABS and traction control.

    Similar to the Multistrada 1200, the Multistrada 950 gets a KYB 48 mm fully adjustable upside-down fork in front, and a fully adjustable Sachs monoshock unit at the back with remote spring preload adjustment. Omitted from the 950 is cornering ABS, with braking done with a pair of 320 mm semi-floating discs in front clamped by Brembo Monobloc four-piston callipers and a single 265 mm disc at the back.

    Rolling on a 19-inch hoop in front, and a 17-incher in the rear, the Multistrada 950 is designed with long-range touring in mind. This is borne out by the 20-litre fuel tank, and 170 mm of suspension travel with a ground clearance of 183.5 mm.

    Additionally, the 2017 Ducati Monster 797, a return to the Monster’s roots of an air-cooled, V-twin hooligan street bike, will be on display at the Ducati Malaysia showroom at Naza World Automall in Petaling Jaya. The Monster 797 is priced between RM55,900 for the red and black colour schemes, while the white version will set you back RM56,900.

    The Ducati Multistrada will be making its rounds, with its next destination being Johor Bahru in the second week of June, followed by Penang in the third week of June. The roadshow ends at the Sultan Muhammad IV Stadium in Kelantan on July 7 and 8, during the Kelantan Bike Week.

    All prices for the 2017 Ducati Multistrada 950 and Ducati Monster 797 include GST, but exclude registration, insurance and road tax. The Ducati Smart Service two-year parts service and lubricants package is included in the purchase price of every 2017 model Ducati.


     
     
  • 2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 250 gets prototype Givi boxes

    As a dual-purpose tourer in the quarter-litre class, the 2017 Kawasaki Versys X-250 is designed to be a lightweight commuting/touring machine. However, pressing the Versys-X to such duties requires storage space, something motorcycles are notoriously short of.

    When the baby Versys was launched, press photographs showed a version which came equipped with Kawasaki top box and panniers. However, during the Versys-X media ride, we were informed that Kawasaki Motors Malaysia would not be bringing in the OEM luggage version, even as an option, as it would make the price prohibitive.

    There is a solution though, for riders wanting to extend the versatility of the RM23,789 Versys X-250, as Givi Malaysia has produced prototype brackets that will allow for the installation of a top box and panniers from Givi’s range of motorcycle luggage. Paultan.org was invited by Givi to its production facility in Rawang, Selangor, to view the prototype and forward our opinion.

    As is typical of Givi brackets, the assembly is made from welded steel tubes, with a mounting plate for the top box. The bracket is designed to accommodate a variety of luggage types, including the de rigeur aluminium cases favoured by overlander riding bikers.

    The prototype we viewed came equipped with a Givi B37N top box and E22 panniers, and we were informed an aluminium bracket is being constructed for the X-250. Pricing for the 2017 Kawasaki Versys X-250 Givi bracket is currently under discussion, but is estimated to be RM150 for the top box and RM200 for the panniers, with the B37N top box and E22 panniers sold at RM609 and RM450 (pair), respectively.

     
     
  • Ducati sale by Volkswagen attracts more interest?

    With parent company Volkswagen (VW) reeling from the effects of Dieselgate, owner of premier Italian motorcycle brand Ducati, Audi, is reported to have received expressions of interest from private equity firms, according to unnamed sources. Bloomberg Markets reported that besides Eicher Motors, owner of the Royal Enfield of India brand, Hero Motocorp – formerly Hero Honda of India – is allegedly considering a bid.

    Other interested parties are said to be Permira and CVC Capital, equity companies that specialise in corporate buyouts. The timeline for the sale of Ducati may begin in a few weeks, with the Borgo Panigale firm valued at more than 1 billion USD (RM4.3 billion).

    As VW’s premium car division, Audi was reported to have started seeking potential buyers early in 2016. VW is currently working with Evercore Partners on its strategy for the disposal of Ducati, but might do an about face and retain the performance motorcycle brand.

    Audi purchased Ducati from Italian equity firm InvestIndustrial for 962 million USD (RM4.1 billion) in 2012 and was rumoured to have considered divesting itself of the brand last year. Ducati had sales of 593 million euros (RM2.81 billion) in 2016 with 55,451 units sold, representing a sales growth of 1.2%.

     
     
  • Nicky Hayden, 2006 MotoGP champion, passes on

    Nicky Hayden, MotoGP World Champion in 2006, has passed away due to injuries suffered in a cycling accident. He was 35 years old. Hayden was seriously injured in a collision with a car whilst out training in Rimini, Italy on May 17.

    Born Nicholas Patrick Hayden in Owensboro, Kentucky, US in July, 1981, he was born into a motorcycle racing family, and began his career riding dirt track from a young age. In 1999, he won his first major championship, the AMA Supersport, garnering the titles for AMA Pro Athlete and Flat Track Rookie of the Year in the process.

    In 2002, the Hayden family stood proud as he, together with brothers Tommy and Roger, made it a family hat-trick at the Springfield TT. The same year, Hayden grabbed the AMA Superbike Championship, and made his move to the top-flight of motorcycle racing, MotoGP.

    Picking up the moniker “Kentucky Kid”, Hayden’s debut was an outstanding success, being named MotoGP Rookie of the Year. In 2005, Hayden took his first MotoGP win in front of a home crowd at Laguna Seca. The following year, an intense rivalry began with Valentino Rossi, who, at the time, had a five-in-a-row world championship winning streak.

    Hayden ended Rossi’s winning streak in a hard fought battle for points right down to the wire at the final grand prix in Valencia, Spain. After 13 seasons in MotoGP riding for Honda and Ducati, Hayden made the switch to World Superbikes (WSBK) in 2016 with the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team, winning at Sepang in WSBK’s final appearance in Malaysia.

    He also tried his hand in the movie business, standing in for Daniel Craig in the James Bond movie “Skyfall”. Hayden rode a stunt motorcycle across the rooftops of Istanbul, Turkey, in a chase scene that culminated with him crashing through the roof of the Grand Bazaar.

    Earning the respect of his peers, Hayden was universally liked in the MotoGP and WSBK paddocks, with messages of support and well wishes pouring in when news of his accident broke. Rossi expressed his admiration for Hayden in a Twitter post, saying, “Nicky is one of the best friends I’ve ever had in the paddock.”

     
     
  • 2017 Honda CBR500R and CB500F in new colour – pricing starts from RM31,363, ABS model option

    Honda’s middleweight duo, the CBR500R full-fairing sports bike and CB500F naked sports, are back for 2017 with three colours. Pricing for the 2017 Honda CBR500R is RM31,681 for the standard machine, while the ABS option takes the price up to RM35,179.

    Meanwhile the 2017 Honda Honda CB500F is priced at RM31,363 in standard trim, and the ABS version will cost the buyer RM34,861. Also available is the dual-purpose Honda CB500X and XA (ABS) at RM31,893 and RM35,391, respectively, with all prices including GST but excluding road tax, insurance and registration.

    New for 2017 is a Lemon Ice Yellow colour scheme for both motorcycles, while Millennium Red and Matte Gunpowder Black are carried over from the previous year. Other details and specifications remain unchanged from last year.

    Carrying a 471 cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled parallel twin fed by Honda’s PGM-Fi, both the CB500F and CBR500R put out 46.9 hp at 8,500 rpm and 43 Nm of torque at 7,000 rpm. Power gets to the ground via a six-speed gearbox with chain final drive, and fuel is carried in a 16.7-litre tank.

    Seat height for both machines is set at a very rider-friendly 785 mm and braking is with a single 320 mm disc in front and 240 mm disc on the rear wheel, with both standard and ABS models available. Weight for the Honda CBR500R is 194 kg, while the naked CB500F clocks in at 190 kg.

    Front teelscopic forks are pre-load adjustable for the CBR and CB, as is the front brake lever, with five adjustment levels to suit different hand spans, and a 9-stage pre-load adjustable monoshock props up the rear end. Twin LED headlights illuminate the way forward, and an LED tail light does the job at the back.

    An LCD instrument panel displays all the necessary information the rider needs, including digital speedometer and bar graph tachometer, fuel, trip and fuel consumption gauges as well as a digital clock. The 2017 Honda CBR500R and CB500F will be available at authorised Boon Siew Honda dealers from this month, with a two-year or 20,000 km manufacturing warranty, whichever comes first.

    GALLERY: 2017 Honda CBR500R


    GALLERY: 2017 Honda CB500F

     
     
  • 2017 Demak motorcycle range Malaysia launch – six new models, two facelift plus four new utility vehicles

    For 2017, Demak – represented in Malaysia by Sarawak firm DNC Asiatic Holdings – has launched eight motorcycle models for the budget-end of the local market. There are six models which are a new direction for Demak, as well as two facelifted models from the current catalogue.

    The new machines are the Ezio 100, Kobra 110, Explorer 150, Xplor 150 and Ace 200, while the facelifted machines are the DJ90 and D7 150. In addition, Demak is also catering to the small business and industrial motorcycle sector with the introduction of the 4 Runner general utility vehicle for agricultural use, the Eco 3 three-wheeler in petrol and electric versions for commercial food and delivery and the eTrois utility three-wheeler.

    During the launch, officiated by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zaid Hamidi, DNC Asiatic executive director Hu Ying said the new motorcycles, including the commercial and industrial models, would be launched before the end of this year, depending on component supply. “We are currently in discussions with various suppliers before entering into any agreements,” said Hu.

    Locally assembled at DNC’s plant in Olak Lempit, Banting, Selangor, the Demak motorcycle range previously consisted of kapchais that catered to the budget market. The release of “proper” motorcycles such as the Sprinter 125 mini-moto and Ace 200 motard signals a shift in market focus for Demak.

    No pricing has been released for Demak’s 2017 motorcycle range as yet, pending government approval, but is expected to be revealed soon. DNC Asiatic currently has two plants in Malaysia – Demak Laut in Kuching, Sarawak and Olak Lempit – with production going to both the local and Sri Lankan markets.

    2017 Demak motorcycle model gallery after the jump.

     
     
 
 
 

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Last Updated 22 Jun 2017