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  • Ride impression: 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod 750

    As the American motorcycle, Harley-Davidson (H-D), like most other manufacturers with strong legacies – think Porsche with the iconic 911 – sometimes has to fight against public perception that its product has to be “just so”. This may or may not include things like engine configuration, general styling and performance.

    When H-D launched the Street 750 back in 2015, many Harley purists made disparaging remarks about the assembled-in-India machine not being a “true” Harley. While this article is not the place to discuss this issue – full disclosure, the author has a 1997 FLSTF in the stable – it cannot be denied there is a certain limit to market purchasing power when it comes to chrome-laden, big, American iron.

    To address this, H-D’s “Street” series of V-twin 750 cc machines are designed to attract a younger set of riders, or older riders who want to ride a street machine without it being a hard-edged sports bike or laid-back cruiser. Sans the chrome and boat anchor weight of true cruisers, H-D’s 2017 Street Rod 750 takes aim at a young rider who wants the brand association of a true Harley, but without the penalty of being asked if that’s your dad’s (or mum’s) bike you’re riding.

    Now, for the 2017 Street Rod 750, H-D has made more than a few changes to the machine, over and above the current Street 750. As the name implies, the Street Rod is designed with an eye on performance, and to appeal to a different rider set than the traditional H-D customer.

    We were invited by Harley-Davidson Asia to Singapore for a media ride of the Street Rod 750, and to find out for ourselves what is different about this machine targeted towards the urban rider. Our ride impression follows after the jump.

    Read the full 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod 750 ride impression here.

  • 2017 Honda RS150R gets Vietnam superbike treatment

    In the Malaysian supercub segment, two machines reign supreme, the Honda RS150R and the Yamaha Y15ZR. Both these 150 cc underbone machines are much favoured with younger riders for stylish looks and good handling, along with a helping of entertaining performance.

    Naturally, this tends to lead to modders getting their hands on such machines, and letting their imaginations run wild. In the case of this 2017 Honda RS150R from Vietnam, this RS150R – commissioned by a Honda dealer in Binh Duong, Vietnam – is built by Quang and is not simply a supercub with a race replica paintjob.

    Specially constructed for an event in Ho Chi Minh City, a report from Vietnamese website Autobikes did not reveal the build cost, save to say it was approximately 100 million dong (RM19,139). This would mean the cost of the bike itself and the components is not included in the build, or the builder has access to components at prices the rest of us can only dream about.

    Starting with the wheels taken off a Ducati Panigale 1199, Quong found that the Panigale’s swingarm would not fit, so a unit from the Honda NSR150 SP was installed instead. Shod with Pirelli Diablo tyres, the racing slicks give the Honda RS150R a striking resemblance to the Honda RC213V-S superbike.

    For the suspension, an upside-down Ohlins front fork was lifted off a Kawasaki ZX-10R, and accompanied by an Ohlins rear shock absorber. Brembo does the braking for the supercub build, as are the adjustable levers.

    For that MotoGP racebike look, the handlebars feature a myriad of buttons, just like the real thing. There is a button marked “TC”, but somehow we think traction control will not be making an appearance on this bike.

    The engine for the RS150R build was left somewhat standard by Quong, but over-bored to 175 cc, with intake air, ignition and fuel injection monitored from three digital meters on the step-over cover. Strangely enough, final drive for this RS150R “superbike” is with a belt, and not chain.

    This was done for ease of modification, as a belt is slightly more tolerant of driveline distortion than a chain. The exhaust comes from a Honda CBR1000RR, and certainly looks the part.

    Lighting for the Honda RS150R is taken off the Icon scooter, while the rear light assembly comes from the NSR150 SP, along with a single seat. The quality of Quong’s work is seen throughout the build, with the bike looking like it came out of the works at Hamamatsu, Japan.

  • SPYSHOTS: 2017 Modenas V15 spotted on highway

    With the recent teaser of Modenas’ two, new for 2017, full-sized motorcycles, in naked sports and full-fairing formats, we now have spyshots of the upcoming third model, a 150 cc cruiser-styled machine. Said to be based on the Bajaj V15, the Modenas version looks to be styled closely on the bikes of yesteryear, notably the Moto Guzzi of the 80s.

    Carrying a 149.5 cc, air-cooled, SOHC, two-valve engine, the V15 as listed on the Bajaj website is claimed to put out 12 hp at 7,500 rpm and 13 Nm of torque at 5,500 rpm. Rolling on an 18-inch wheel in front and a 16-inch hoop at the rear, braking is with a single disc on the front wheel, and drum at the back.

    Fuel is carried in a 13-litre fuel tank with a 1.7-litre reserve, and seat height is set at 780 mm. Kerb weight is rated at 135.5 kg.

    What do you think? Is this a worthy successor to the Modenas Jaguh, which proved to be popular in its market segment some 15 years ago? Leave a comment with your thoughts and opinions, below.

  • 2017 Skyteam Ace 125 launched in Malaysia – RM7,366

    Hong Kong-based Skyteam has launched the 2017 Skyteam 125 Cafe-racer in Malaysia at an on-the-road price of RM7,366. This retro-styled cafe racer mimics the racing machine of the sixties very closely, with its stretched out riding position.

    The Ace 125 carries a 125 cc, single-cylinder, two-valve engine that is rated for 11 hp at 8,000 rpm, while no torque figure was mentioned. Coming with a one-year or 10,000 km warranty, whichever comes first, the Ace 125 is designed to appeal to the current craze for retro, hipster bikes.

    Braking for the Ace 125 is with a single disc in front, and a drum brake at the rear. Fuel is carried in a 9.2-litre tank, and dry weight is claimed to be 87 kg.

    There are three colour options available for the Ace 125 Cafe-racer – Ace Silver, Matte Grey and Racer Blue. The first 110 units of the 2017 Skyteam Ace 125 are being offered with a single-seat option and there are 153 Skyteam dealers across Malaysia.

    Also in the Skyteam range are the PBR 110 mini-moto at RM5,626 and the Lady 110 mini-bike at RM5,347. Additionally, Skyteam will be launching two 125 cc models in the near future, and these might possibly be accompanied by a 250 cc model, as well.

    GALLERY: 2017 Skyteam Ace 125 Cafe-racer

    2017 Skyteam Lady 110
    GALLERY: 2017 Skyteam PBR 110

  • Royal Enfield of India to buy Ducati from Volkswagen?

    After a Reuters report that Volkswagen might be letting go of motorcycle brand Ducati, which it owns via subsidiary Audi, a rumour has emerged that Royal Enfield of India may be considering a purchase of the Italian manufacturer. This was reported by Times of India, which said Eicher Motors – which owns the Enfield brand – has been approached by investment bankers Evercore about an expression of interest.

    The Borgo Panigale firm is valued by some estimates at 1.5 billion euros (RM7.12 billion) and was acquired by Audi in 2012 for a reported sum of 860 million euros (RM4.08 billion). Unnamed sources have said that Eicher is examining the acquisition terms, price should it decide to purchase, and how Ducati would fit into its own brand portfolio.

    Approached for a statement, Siddartha Lal, managing director and chief executive officer of Eicher, said, “we cannot talk to you of such things. I have a general view on such things. We are always open to thoughts and ideas. But as you know, we are the most focused and selective company…” “So basically, without saying absolutely no to anything – because we never say never – we are so zeroed in on our own opportunity that we do not want anything to distract us,” said Lal.

    Royal Enfield’s current range of motorcycles encompasses the Classic, Bullet and Thunderbird with 350 cc and 500 cc engines, the Himalayan dual-purpose with 410 cc, and the Continental GT at 535 cc. Purchase of Ducati, with its range of V-twins ranging from 400 cc to 1,299 cc, and covering everything from superbikes to dual-purpose touring to retro machines, would fit into Eicher’s plans to make Enfield a “global brand”.

    Ducati had sales of 593 million euros (RM2.81 billion) in 2016 with 55,451 units sold, representing a sales growth of 1.2%. Other interested parties may include players in the motorcycle market such as Suzuki, Honda, Polaris and Harley Davidson.

  • Singapore traffic police don’t mess around when it comes to using a mobile phone behind the wheel

    HP got confiscated by TP….that was swift ????????

    Posted by Adam Abdul Rashid on 26hb April 2017

    Using a mobile phone while behind the wheel of a vehicle is indeed dangerous and fool-hardy, besides being against the law. While talking on the mobile phone while driving is dangerous, it is even more so when drivers text, surf the internet or generally faff about on the phone while driving.

    In Singapore, this dash-cam footage shows that the traffic police in the island city-state mean business when drivers are caught using a mobile phone. As can be seen in the video, uploaded by Facebook user Adam Abdul Rashid, a traffic policeman on a motorcycle spies a driver on the phone, and pulls up along side.

    The policeman then confiscates the phone from the driver, placing it in the storage box behind him, before motioning the driver to pull up on the side of the road. According to the Singapore police force website, a person convicted of mobile communications device (MCD) driving as a first offence is liable to a fine of up to 1,000 SGD (RM3,100), or jailed for up to six months, or both.

    Additionally, the driver may be disqualified from driving. Repeat offenders are liable for a maximum fine of up to 2,000 SGD (RM6,200), or jailed for up to 12 months, or both. Over and above this, the driver’s mobile and SIM card may be seized to facilitate investigation, with possible forfeiture by the court.

    What do you think? Is the current lack of enforcement by Malaysian police for mobile phone usage on local roads a contributory factor to careless driving? Should regulations be stricter, with harsher penalties, be instituted for driving while using a mobile phone? Leave a comment with your thoughts and opinions, below.

  • 2017 Furion M1 rotary-engined hybrid motorcycle – is this the future of motorcycling?

    French startup Furion is currently seeking funds for its rotary-engined hybrid motorcycle, called the M1. Rotary engines for motorcycles are not a new idea, of course, with Suzuki having the first mass-market rotary back in the mid 70s, the RE5, and Norton in the late 80s with the twin-rotor Commander and F1.

    There is a lot to recommend installing a rotary engine in a motorcycle. The engine is small, light and runs smooth, and lends itself well into bike’s overall design package, giving a lot of power for a reduced amount of cubic capacity, though this doesn’t hold true these days when you have 600 cc inline-fours pumping out close to 120 hp.

    The flip-side, of course, is a rotary’s reputation for eating rotor tip seals, burning lubricant which then leads to poor emissions and a penchant for guzzling fuel. So, what is Furion doing different with the M1?

    For starters, the Furion M1’s power plant is a 654 cc (two x 327 cc rotor) Wankel engine that puts out 125 hp at 9,000 rpm with a torque figure of 105 Nm at 6,000 rpm. This is coupled to an electric motor fed by lithium-sulphur batteries that is rated at an equivalent 55 hp and 100 Nm torque, giving a final figure of 180 hp and 205 Nm.

    This makes for some very impressive numbers, when compared to what Furion claims is a 209 kg wet weight for the M1. The engine is suspended in a trellis frame, and interestingly, the call-out drawing for the M1 shows a Stirling cycle engine mounted in the lower front-half of the chassis.

    Suspension is with 43 mm diameter upside-down forks, fully adjustable for rebound, compression and preload, while the rear is a horizontally-mounted monoshock, adjustable for preload and rebound. Fuel for the Furion M1 is carried in a 16-litre tank, while seat height is set at 810 mm.

    Furion claims the M1 will be able to travel over 400 km on a single tank of fuel, which gives it a very impressive range compared to typical sports bikes. The brain child of designer Marc Evenisse and four-time Supermoto champion Adrien Chareyre, the M1 currently exists only as pixels on a computer screen.

    According to Evanisse, the Furion M1 is “an original motive combination with the key to an unusual sound, the musical fruit of the two rotors of the engine.” What do you think? Worth the investment or just another pipe dream? Leave a comment with your thoughts and opinions below.

  • 2017 Demak motorcycle range to carry 11 new models

    A teaser image has been posted on the Demak Motor Facebook page, saying that it will be launching 11 new models in Malaysia for 2017. Indicating that the launch will begin on May 21st, Demak has previously launched 15 models in its range.

    With this year shaping up to be an aggressive one for Demak – represented by Sarawak company DNC Asiatic – it looks as if it will be trying to corner the budget motorcycle market, notably kapchais and scooters. There has been no real information forthcoming since we last visited the Demak facility in Olak Lempit, Selangor, but from the Facebook post, one of the new models will be a “fun bike”.

    Aside from that, from another teaser photo that was posted, it appears as if Demak will also be introducing a three-wheeler into the local market. Whether this will take the form of a small-wheeled roofed scooter, or a full-sized machine like the Can-Am, remains anyones guess.

    Also much-awaited by local Demak fans is the motard-styled DTM 250, which represents cheap and cheerful two-wheeled fun for many riders. The current 2017 Demak range, as posted on its website, ranges from MX- and motard-styled 250 cc singles, down to 150 cc and 110 cc scooters.

  • IIMS 2017 – the custom motorcycle scene in Indonesia

    The recently concluded Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS) in Jakarta saw lots of new cars on display, such as the Mitsubishi XM, the Suzuki Ignis and Kia Rio, as well as the new Honda CR-V and Daihatsu Ayla, but what of the motorcycles? Well, we had to give this year’s show a miss, due to commitments elsewhere, but the team came back with some photos showcasing custom motorcycles.

    It is obvious the cafe racer cum scrambler design style is still in vogue, based on the machines on the stand at IIMS. Somewhat reminiscent of a Paul Smart racer was a silver Ducati-engined cafe racer, with the front discs cowled to look like a leading shoe front brake setup from sixties race bikes.

    Further along was a Honda CB650 air-cooled,four-cylinder machine, with dual stacked headlights and scrambler styling. Of note were the Comstar wheels, flat-tracker handlebars, gaitered forks and flat seat, with a clever touch being the crash bungs extended out from the frame, above the sump guard.

    A bobber-styled drag bike with knobby tyres was also prominent, with chrome-clad fuel and oil tanks, and a Martini-Rossi racing stripe gracing the rear fender. Using a Harley-Davidson V-twin, this minimalist build featured a springer front fork with six-piston brake caliper grabbing the front disc.

    Looking for all the world like something that might have come out of an alien invasion movie, there was a chopper on display with outrageously oversized wheels, probably about 30-inches or so. Polished metal and chrome abounded on this build, with a hardtail frame and springer front end.

    For the cafe racer types, Street Fairing & Co had a couple of machines on display, mimicking the look of sixties racing machines. Using single-cylinder two-stroke engines, these racing replicas certainly looked the part, bringing to mind the hey-days of racing at Batu Tiga.

    Thinking it was a Ducati Monster at first glance, this little bumblebee yellow machine uses a Suzuki Inazuma 250 parallel-twin, and gives it the hooligan street bike treatment. A cafe racer single seat, upside-down forks, wrapped exhaust headers and knobby-pattern tyres complete the look for this custom.

  • 2017 Modenas second teaser – this time it’s a full-fairing sportsbike, based on the Bajaj Pulsar RS200?

    The second of the teasers from Modenas’ 2017 range has been teased, and this time we get a look at the lower half of a full-fairing sportsbike. Quite possibly based on the Pulsar RS200 from Bajaj, this would mean the second of Modenas’ new models will be a racer-styled sportsbike, something of a new market for the Malaysian motorcycle manufacturer.

    From the specification sheet, the Pulsar RS200 carries a single-cylinder, three-spark plug, liquid-cooled power plant that puts out 24.5 PS at 9,750 rpm, and 18.6 Nm of torque at 8,000 rpm. Fed by fuel injection, the RS200 puts out one horsepower more than its naked sports NS200 sibling.

    Rolling on 17-inch wheels, as per the Pulsar NS200, the RS200 gets a 300 mm single brake disc in front, and a 230 mm unit at the back, and single-channel ABS is fitted, making it a first in Malaysia at this price point for a full-sized motorcycle. Fuel is carried in a 13-litre tank, and a standard telescopic fork holds up the front end, while a Nitrox monoshock props up the rear.

    Twin projector lights light the way forward, while LED tail lights are fitted in the tailpiece. Weight for the Pulsar RS200 is claimed to be 165 kg, which is about right for this quarter-litre sportsbike.

    There are two colour choices in India for the Pulsar RS200 – Graphite Black and Racing Blue. In New Delhi, India, the 2017 Pulsar RS200 retails at 133,883 Indian rupees (RM9,021).

    GALLERY: 2017 Bajaj Pulsar RS200 – India market version


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Last Updated 25 May 2017