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  • 2017 MV Agusta Malaysia prices, starting at RM87,000

    With the re-launching of Italian motorcycle brand MV Agusta in Malaysia, local authorised distributor Moto Varese Asiatic has revealed prices for MV Agusta models currently available for sale. These are the naked sports 2017 MV Agusta Brutale 800 at RM87,331, the Brutale 1090 at RM93,691 and the sports-touring Turismo Veloce 800 at RM94,751, with all prices including GST, but excluding road tax, insurance and registration.

    As the entry-level into MV Agusta’s naked sports bike range, the Brutale 800 carries an 798 cc, inline three-cylinder power plant that is fed by EFI, and comes with ride-by-wire and a full suite of riding aids. Power output is claimed to be 110 hp at 11,500 rpm with torque rated at 83 Nm at 7,600 rpm.

    The Brutale 800 has proven a favourite with customisers and there are several special editions available from MV Agusta, including the Brutale America and the RVS #1. Aside from the base model Brutale 800, also in the catalogue – but not currrently on sale locally – are the Brutale 800 RR, as well as the Brutale Dragster with bobbed seat and slightly different bodywork in base, RR, RC and RR LH44 flavours.

    Bigger sibling to the Brutale 800 is the Brutale 1090, which comes with a 1,078 cc four-cylinder mill, inline and liquid-cooled with 16-valves, that puts out 144 hp at 10,500 rpm and 112 Nm of torque at 8,100 rpm. Despite being a slightly older model, the Brutale 1090 comes with traction and ABS, and has a published top speed of 265 kmh.

    On the sports-touring side, MV Agusta offers the Turismo Veloce 800, which can be equipped with OEM hard cases. Somewhat similar to the 2016 Stradale 800 reviewed, the Turismo Veloce 800 carries an inline three-cylinder engine that produces 110 hp at 10,150 rpm and 80 Nm of torque at 7,100 rpm.

    Availability for the 2017 MV Agusta models listed is immediate, and the machines can be viewed at MV Agusta Malaysia’s LifeStyle Centre located in Batu Caves, Selangor, from the end of July. All officially imported MV Agusta bikes in Malaysia come with a two-year, unlimited mileage warranty.

    GALLERY: 2017 MV Agusta Brutale 800

    GALLERY: 2017 MV Agusta Brutale 1090
    GALLERY: 2017 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800

  • 2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 to be produced in India under KTM and Bajaj Auto

    Launched last year, the Husqvarna Vitpilen and Svartpilen naked sports bikes are the Swedish firm’s new direction for 2017, and it has been announced the Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 models will be produced in India by 2018. This is a result of a collobaration between Austrian firm KTM, which owns the Husqvarna brand, and Bajaj Auto of India, which in turn owns 47.99% of KTM.

    As part of KTM’s strategy to take Husqvarna global, and into the mainstream, global production of the Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 will be transferred to Bajaj’s Chakan assembly facility in 2018. This move will be made after an initial production run in KTM’s plant in Mattighofen, Austria in 2017.

    The strategy was agreed upon by Stefan Pierer, chief executive officer of KTM, and Rajiv Bajaj, managing director of Bajaj, in order to increase economies of scale for the Husqvarna brand. Husqvarna has traditionally been known for its range of very competent enduro and motocross machines, gaining a reputation for powerful, good-handling off-road racing motorcycles.

    Both the Vitpilen and Svartpilen will share a common engine, the 373 cc single-cylinder power plant taken from the KTM 390 Duke/RC 390, which puts out 43 hp and 37 Nm of torque. The chassis will also be taken from the 390 Duke, but will be clad in different bodywork – the Vitpilen being a cafe racer and the Svartpilen in scrambler styling.

    Bajaj aims to raise sales of the Husqvarna brand to match current levels of KTM motorcycles in markets such as India and Indonesia. Its plant currently produces 100,000 motorcycles a year, and Bajaj expects to double that number with the introduction of Husqvarna.

    GALLERY: 2018 Husqvarna Svartpilen 401

    GALLERY: 2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401

  • 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod 750 goes drag racing

    As Harley-Davidson’s (H-D) iteration of an urban sports bike, the 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod 750 is meant to be a new direction for H-D motorcycles, and to prove the point, the Milwaukee firm has put the Street Rod’s bodywork on a Pro Stock drag racing motorcycle. The Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines drag racing team debuted the all new body design, inspired by the Street Rod 750, at the Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Englishtown, New Jersey, US.

    The new Street Rod competition bodywork was designed at the Harley-Davidson Design Studio in Milwaukee in collaboration with Vance & Hines Motorsport, and was wind-tunnel tested at Wichita State University during its development. “With its muscular stance, high-performance engine and hot-rod inspired styling, the new Street Rod motorcycle is the perfect vehicle to carry Harley-Davidson’s championship winning Pro Stock Motorcycle program forward on the race track and in the showroom,” said Scott Beck, H-D global brand director.

    Riders Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec will be racing all-new chassis for the first time at Englishtown. “We used CAD and other digital tools to design a new chassis that minimizes weight while maximizing strength and rigidity,” said Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines crew chief Matt Hines.

    “Track testing confirmed that the new bikes are aerodynamically sound and these new bikes run as great as they look with the sleek new body,” he continued. The team will campaign the new Street Rod drag bikes for the remainder of the 2017 NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series.

    As a revised urban riding machine derived from the Street 750, the 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod features a sportier handling geometry with revised power output, to the tune of 8 to 10 percent more torque and 18 to 20 percent more horsepower from its 750 cc, liquid-cooled V-twin. Performance upgrades include twin 300 mm disc brakes in front, with ABS as standard, and seat height is set at 765 mm to give better ground clearance.

  • Malaysian Zaqhwan Zaidi to race at Suzuka 8 hours

    Now in its fourth decade, the Coca-Cola Suzuka 8 hours Endurance Race (Suzuka 8 Hours) is legendary to superbike riders and Malaysian racer Zaqhwan Zaidi (22) will get the chance the show his skill this July 30. Racing under the Satu HATI. Honda Team Asia banner, Zaqhwan will be partnered by FIM CEV Moto2 rider Indonesian Dimas Ekky Pratama (25), and Asia Road Racing Championship rider Ratthapong Wilairot (29), from Thailand.

    Honda is intent on showing the competition a clean pair of heels in the fortieth running of the Suzuka 8 hours, with no less than eight teams and 24 riders officially supported by Honda Racing Corporation, Honda’s racing arm with the CBR1000RR SP2. This does not include other endurance racing teams which will be running second-flight Honda racing motorcycles.

    In its sixth consecutive year at the event, Satu HATI. Honda Team Asia was Honda’s best performing team last year with an eighth place finish. The all-Asian trio will be riding the new CBR1000RR, Honda’s entry into the superbike racing arena, which displaces 999.8 cc and pumps out 189 hp at 13,000 rpm and 116 Nm at 11,000 rpm in standard SP2 trim from its inline, four-cylinder power plant.

    Top of the team list is F.C.C. TSR Honda, which is campaigning every round in the 2017 World Endurance Racing (WER) season. Riders for the team are Stefan Bradl, currently competing in the FIM Superbike World Championship and Dominique Aegerter, current FIM MotoGP World Championship (MotoGP) Moto2 rider, with a third rider yet to be announced.

    Next up is MuSaSHi HARC-Pro Honda, who have Takumi Takahashi, three-time Suzuka 8 Hours winner and MotoGP Moto2 rider Takaaki Nakagami and 2016 MotoGP Dutch TT winner Jack Miller in the ranks. While Takahashi and Nakagami are no strangers to Suzuka, this will be the first time Miller is competing in the eight-hour race, and the team is hungry for victory, not having won here in three years.

  • 2017 MV Agusta Brutale America special – 14,998 USD

    It being the fourth of July weekend, MV Agusta has released the 2017 MV Agusta Brutale America Special Edition, decked out in a special red, white and metallic blue livery, commemorating the colours of the American flag and its independence. Priced at 14,998 USD (RM64,402), the Brutal America is a special edition, coming in an initial run of 50 copies, one for each state in the US.

    Scheduled for its public unveiling during the weekend of July 7 to 9 at the Laguna Seca racetrack in California, USA, the Brutal America comes with a special sticker on the tank emblazoned with 37 stars, each one signifying a world championship won by MV Agusta over the decades. The seats – the pillion seat is upholstered for comfort – is covered in a red material, enhanced with gilt stitching.

    At the front, gloss black paintwork sets off the iridescent blue of the tank and tail-piece, and the front mudguard has the MV Agusta logo applied. A Castiglioni Research Centre (CRC) tank pad is installed, which comes from MV Agusta’s special components division that designs exclusive performance parts for in-house use, such as the MV Agusta RVS #1.

    In the cockpit, a specially machine upper triple clamp is adorned with the words “America Special Edition” laser-cut into the metal, along with the edition number. This is complemented by the Brutale America’s edition certificate, housed in a wood-and-plexiglas frame, and and accompanies each bike.

    As the Brutale America is based on the standard MV Agusta Brutale 800, it carries a liquid-cooled, inline, three-cylinder power plant that puts out 110 hp at 11,500 rpm and 83 Nm of torque at 7,600 rpm. Weight is claimed to be 176 kg, and fuel is carried in a 16.5-litre tank.

    While the 2017 MV Agusta Brutale America Special Edition retails for 14,998 USD (RM64,402), the standard Brutale 800 goes for 13,498 USD (RM58,050). In Malaysia, the Brutale 800 retails for approximately RM90,000, on-the-road, including GST, road tax and insurance.

  • Motorcycle bike-to-vehicle (B2V) comms system proposed – provides collision detection and warnings

    Safety is of paramount importance to all road users, more so motorcyclists, who are, by far, the most vulnerable. A collaboration between auto industry automation giant Bosch and Israeli company Autotalks aims to reduce that risk with a Wi-Fi based system that enables a motorcycle to alert surrounding vehicles to its presence, as well as warn the rider of impending collisions.

    Autotalks’ bike-to-vehicle, or B2V, system communicates with other vehicles on the road, exchanging data such as speed, direction, location, braking status and other parameters with similarly equipped machines. Currently scheduled for testing using Ducati motorcycles, the Autotalks system is lightweight, compact, and low-powered, making it suitable for use on bikes, says Autotalks chief technology officer Onn Haran.

    This is a development of the vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) system the company developed for use in larger vehicles, and research by Bosch suggests one-third of accidents involving motorcycles in Germany could be prevented by using it. However, for the system to be successful, it requires that a significant number of vehicles on the road have V2V or B2V installed.

    Implementing such a system will require government intervention, mandating that it be installed in all future vehicles, as is being done in the US where the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) is considering such a rule. For carmakers, Volkswagen (VW) plans to have most of its cars equipped with the pWLAN (IEEE 802.11p) wireless connectivity standard by 2019.

    Slated to hit the road in 2019, VW’s technology aims to help detect hazards such as cars making emergency stops, or black ice on the road. This information can be shared instantly with surrounding vehicles and transport infrastructure (car-to-car and car-to-X), enabling other road users to take prompt reaction.

    “It’s a low-cost solution with a small form factor, which is critical for motorcycles,” Haran said when talking to Wired. “It can operate in a wide temperature range and be placed anywhere on the motorcycle.” The Autotalk system is being designed to alert the rider when imminent danger is present, such as a car running a red light or braking suddenly.

  • 2017 Ducati XDiavel Thiverval custom by Krugger

    We recently reviewed the 2017 Ducati XDiavel S, and found it to be a most striking machine, and now Ducati has come out with a custom XDiavel called Thiverval, with a public introduction scheduled for a public showing on July 1 at Spa-Franchamps circuit, Belgium. Built by Belgian customiser Fred Krugger, the XDiavel’s dragster styling is given a makeover into something of a cafe-racer.

    Krugger – twice winner of the AMD Custom Bike Building World Championship – took away the bobber seat and sculpted tank of the XDiavel, and replaced those items with a rectangular tank and tail section reminiscent of the racing Ducatis of the 60s. The engine has been left in full view, while the trellis frame has been deliberately hidden to simplify the lines of the bike.

    Retaining the original XDiavel headlight, Krugger went to town on the tail section, with the exhaust pipes now exiting under the seat in typical Ducati fashion. The tail-light appears to be a Ducati item, taken off a Ducati Scrambler, and fits well into the general design ethos of the Thiverval – named after a small race track on the outskirts of Paris, France.

    Finished of in horizontal flashes of alternating gloss, matt and chrome dominated by the colour black, the XDiavel Thiverval promises performance and comfort, riding pleasure and relaxed journeying. No word on if and when the Thiverval, or a model something like it, will be produced for public consumption.

    The Ducati XDiavel is powered by the Testastretta DVT 1,262 cc V-twin, which produces 156 hp at 9,500 rpm and 128.9 Nm of torque at just 5,000 rpm. The base model 2017 Ducati XDiavel goes for RM140,899, while the XDiavel S retails for RM160,899, with prices including GST, but excluding road tax, registration and insurance.

  • 2017 Yamaha Fazer 250 to be introduced in India?

    While the quarter-litre motorcycle segment remains as crowded as ever in Malaysia, apparently India will be getting a fairly interesting sports bike in 2017 from Yamaha, dubbed the Fazer 250. Based on the Yamaha FZ25 launched earlier this year, the Fazer 250 is an extension of the FZ25, with component sharing being the basis for production.

    From a Times of India report, the Fazer 250 was spotted during road-testing near India Yamaha Motor’s plant at Surajpur, Greater Noida. It was reported the semi-faired Fazer 250 is set to enter production in August, and will be released in October, ahead of the holiday season.

    Using the component sharing model makes sense for India Yamaha, as it already has the basis for many items that can be used on both the naked sports FZ25 and the Fazer 250. This includes the 249 cc, air-cooled, four-stroke, two-valve thumper from the FZ25, claimed to pump out 19 hp at 8,000 rpm and 20 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm.

    Currently, India Yamaha uses component and platform sharing for its 150 cc motorcycle, with three models on offer. These are the FZ-Fi and FZS-Fi naked sports bikes and the semi-faired Fazer-Fi (pictured above and in gallery), all using an air-cooled 149 cc single-cylinder engine.

    It is said the Yamaha Fazer 250 will also come with ABS and a five-speed gearbox. In India, the 2017 Yamaha FZ25 retails for 130,000 Indian rupees (RM8,660), ex-New Delhi, with the Fazer 250 expected to be priced slightly above that at launch.

    In Malaysia, Hong Leong Yamaha Malaysia’s single offering in the 250 cc motorcycle class is the 2017 Yamaha YZFR-25 full-fairing sports bike that retails for RM20,630, including GST. The YZF-R25 comes with a liquid-cooled parallel-twin with four-valves per cylinder, displacing 249 cc, and produces 35.5 hp at 12,000 rpm and 22.6 Nm of torque at 10,000 rpm.

    GALLERY: India Yamaha Motor FZ-series

  • VIDEO: 2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R and rookie Chris Fillmore set new Pikes Peak Hill Climb race record

    In his rookie year, American superbike racer Chris Fillmore (30), riding for KTM/HMC Racing, set a new motorcycle record for the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado, US, giving KTM its inaugural win for this race. His winning time in the Heavyweight class was 9 minutes 49.625 seconds, on a 2017 KTM Super Duke R.

    As a race of truth against the clock, Pikes Peak is possibly the US motorcycling equivalent to the Isle of Man. The legendary race, which takes place each year in Colorado Springs, sees riders racing up to the finish line at 4,267 metres above sea level.

    During the 10-minute video, you can watch Fillmore tackling the switchbacks and curves of Pikes Peak. What makes this race particularly scary is the shortage of safety barriers or guard rails on the edge of the road, meaning any mistake will have the rider looking at 500 metres of down.

    The Super Duke R puts out 177 hp at 9,750 rpm and 141 Nm torque at 7,000 rpm from its 1,301 cc liquid-cooled, 75-degree V-twin.The Super Duke R comes with two options packages which can be combined – the Performance Pack that adds motor slip regulation, a quickshifter and KTM MY Ride and the Track Pack which allows for fuel mapping, anti-wheelie off and MTC slip and launch control

    In Malaysia, the 2017 KTM Super Duke R retails for RM118,000, including GST, but excluding road tax, insurance and registration, with its primary local competition being the Ducati Monster 1200 S at RM119,000. An in-depth review of the KTM Super Duke R will be coming soon.

  • REVIEW: 2017 Ducati XDiavel S – the devil inside

    Cruisers are strange creatures in the motorcycle world. Visually appealing to non-riders, cruisers are firm favourites with many riders, especially fans of that American brand. But what happens when you try to make a cruiser that performs?

    While sounding a bit of an oxymoron, cruisers are not just for, well, cruising. The image of the big V-twin, decked out in chrome, is a trope in the popular imagination for many, and the typical Hollywood cliche of what motorcycles are supposed to be doesn’t help things either.

    So, what happens when you take all the equipment found on a modern sportsbike, such as ride modes and traction control, racing brakes and premium suspension, and mould it into something that looks like a dragster-styled cruiser, but isn’t? Well, you end up with the Ducati XDiavel.

    The first iteration of the dragster cruiser would perhaps have been the Yamaha V-Max, back in 1985. This design trend was followed in later decades by machines such as the Honda Magna and recently, the Harley-Davidson V-Rod series, which sees its final production run this year.

    But Ducati, in its infinite wisdom, decided what the world needed was a sports-cruiser, and created the Diavel, back in 2011. And then, in the sixth year, Ducati gave rise to the XDiavel, and Ducati Malaysia let us dance with the devil.

    Read the full review after the jump.


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Last Updated 20 Jul 2017