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  • 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R adds 16 hp with Akrapovic

    2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R Akrapovic exhaust (4)

    While the rest of the world has already received the 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R and we’re still waiting for the official Malaysian launch, performance exhaust specialist Akrapovic has released a range of sports and racing exhausts for this superbike. Although Kawasaki has already issued an official Race Kit Parts catalogue for the ZX-10R, the Slovenian exhaust outfit has been known to have a few tricks up its sleeve when it comes to looking for those last bits of hp.

    The company’s Evolution Line Carbon exhaust takes the ZX-10’s peak power figure from 185.2 hp to 195.1 hp at 13,200 rpm. What should be noted is that with maximum power boost coming in at 6,700 rpm, there’s 16.5 hp coming in right at the mid-range, where riders can make the most use of the power gain. The Evolution Line Carbon exhaust also shows an improvement in torque, bringing the figure up to 113.4 Nm at 11,250 rpm compared to the stock engine’s 108.8 at 11,500 rpm.

    The other advantage of swapping out the stock exhaust for a performance system is, of course, the weight savings. In the case of the 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R, Akrapovic’s Evolution Line Carbon cuts 5.4 kg against the stock system, which weighs 9.3 kg, representing a savings of 58%. Exhaust noise also goes up by 6 db, but if you’re at a racetrack, who cares, right?

    According to Akrapovic’s website, installation should take about 90 minutes, and reprogramming of the ECU will be required, using a map based on Tom Sykes’s and Jonathan Rea’s World Superbike-winning race engine. The company also makes a line of slip-on exhaust cans in carbon and titanium for the 2016 ZX-10R, with the titanium system destined for countries where EC regulations do not apply, or for race use only.

    GALLERY: 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R

  • REVIEW: 2015 BMW R nineT – old-new classic custom

    2015 BMW Motorrad RnineT -13

    So, you want a cafe racer. You want a bobber. You want to channel your inner hipster and replicate exactly what every hipster in the world is doing, with a HD video of a wooden-walled garage, unnecessary sparks flying from a grinding wheel.

    In which case, BMW Motorrad has your hipster wanna-be biker dreams covered with the 2015 R nineT. Or, you could look beyond the intended market for this bike, grab that very last of the air-cooled boxer twins, and put it into an updated frame with modern rolling gear and – oh, wait – BMW already did that with the R1200R, with semi-active suspension, no less.

    So, why does this throwback to BMW’s ’70s styling exist, apart from Motorrad’s marketing department trying to fill every possible market niche, and in the process grab a few dollars more? Well, for a start, motorcycles, in general, have become very sophisticated pieces of machinery.

    From the use of ABS on motorcycles, some bikes, including many of those in BMW Motorrad’s range, use a variety of technical and electronic aids to improve the riding experience, especially in terms of safety. Some riders say this distracts from the essence of riding a motorcycle, in that the rider is the one in charge of every aspect of the bike’s behaviour.

    The R nineT has none of these, save ABS. So, does this make this less of a motorcycle? Does it detract from what a modern motorcycle is supposed to be? Or is this just a clever marketing ploy that caters to the image of what a motorcycle is supposed to be?

    Read the full review here.

  • 2016 Yamaha Tracer 700 dual-purpose announced

    2016 Yamaha Tracer 700 - 17

    After some speculation in the online motorcycle media, Yamaha Europe has announced the 2016 Tracer 700, a dual-purpose sports-tourer based on the MT-07. The Tracer 700 uses the same engine as the MT-07, a 689 cc parallel twin with DOHC and fuel injection.

    Putting out a claimed 75 hp and 68 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm, the Tracer 700 drives a six-speed gearbox and chain final drive. Weighing in at 198 kg and with a 835 mm seat height, the Tracer comes with a 17-litre fuel tank for those long-distance highway cruises.

    The Tracer’s swingarm is 50 mm longer than the MT-07, to provide high-speed stability, especially when loaded with a passenger and luggage. Styling follows the MT-09, but with an aggressive styling stance, a nod to current trends for dual-purpose bikes.

    A range of comprehensive luggage is available, including soft panniers, top box and taller windscreen. According to sources, the 2016 Yamaha Tracer 700 is due to hit showrooms in Europe sometime in July, priced at 6,299 pounds sterling (RM35,154). Three colour choices are available – red, blue or black.

  • Jorge Lorenzo joins Ducati Corse MotoGP for 2017/18

    2016 Jorge Lorenzo Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - 6

    In what isn’t quite a surprise, Ducati Corse has announced that three-time MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo will be joining its MotoGP team for the 2017/18 season. Rumours had long since been circulating in the paddock that Lorenzo was contemplating a move to the Borno Panigale-based racing team.

    Details are somewhat sketchy at the moment, seeing that Lorenzo is still riding with the Movistar Yamaha racing team for 2016, where he is partnered with nine-time world champion Valentino “The Doctor” Rossi. Lorenzo was out-spoken in his criticism of Rossi in last year’s MotoGP race in Sepang, where Rossi and Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda came together in an incident that saw Marquez coming off.

    With Lorenzo joining Ducati Corse, the question now arises who will make way for his entry. Currently, Ducati has Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone riding in the team. With Lorenzo needing a development rider for 2017, it appears as if Iannone might make the move next season.

    While the game of MotoGP musical chairs is going on, fans are wondering who Yamaha might sign-on to partner Rossi in 2017. Given that Yamaha has traditionally upgraded riders from the 250 cc class, eyes are looking at the Monster Tech 3 satellite team.

    Lorenzo, born in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, on May 4, 1987, has won five world championship titles throughout his racing career – 250 cc in 2006 and 2007 and MotoGP in 2010, 2012 and 2015. His record at Yamaha contesting the MotoGP class stands at three world championships, 41 race wins and 99 podium places.

  • 2016 Harley-Davidson Roadster unveiled – USD11,199

    2016 Harley-Davidson Roadster 1200 (5)

    Hot on the heels of the recent launch of the 2016 Iron 883 and Forty-Eight, Harley-Davidson has announced the arrival of the Harley-Davidson Roadster. The latest addition to the Sportster family, the Roadster is, like its other Dark Custom stablemates, designed to appeal to the younger, urban rider.

    Dark Custom is a theme that has been shown in previous offerings in Harley-Davidson’s 2016 range, including the Pro Street Breakout and Low Rider S, where more emphasis is placed on power and handling, with a minimum of chrome and bling.

    Harley-Davidson’s Sportster line, coming in 883 cc and 1,200 cc engine versions, has traditionally been the “entry-level” cruisers, but with better handling performance than the big 1,687 cc Harley-Davidson iron.

    The 2016 Roadster comes with Harley-Davidson’s 1,202 cc air-cooled ‘Evolution’ V-twin, which is also carried in the Forty-Eight. Fed by electronic sequential port fuel injection (ESPFI), the rider has 103 Nm of torque at 3,750 rpm available. Harley-Davidson normally does not publish hp figures for its motorcycles.

    Differences between the Roadster and its Forty-Eight sibling are a rear fender cut short in the “Bobber” style, as well as new 19-inch front and 18-inch rear multi-spoke cast aluminium wheels – unique to the Roadster. Other changes include new rear suspension and front fork. The fork is set at 28.9 degrees of rake and 27.4 degrees of off-set, to give slightly quicker handling.

    As shown in the pictures, the 2016 Roadster comes with a multitude of accessories from Harley-Davidson’s extensive parts catalogue, allowing the owner to customise the Roadster’s looks according to personal taste. These include items such as single-seats, air cleaners, billet aluminium parts and luggage.

    2016 Harley-Davidson Roadster 1200 (9)

    Also new for the 2016 Harley-Davidson Roadster is twin-front brake discs. Coming with optional ABS, the brakes grab 330 mm floating discs in front and a single 260 mm disc at the rear. The fuel tank holds 12.5 litres and the Roadster weighs-in at 258 kg wet.

    Coming in four colours for 2016 – Velocity Red Sunglo, Billet Silver/Vivid Black, Black Denim and Vivid Black, the Harley-Davidson Sportster is listed at a base price of USD11,199 (RM43,666) on its website. Optional items include ABS at USD795 (RM3,100) and immobilser at USD395 (RM1,540). The 2016 Halrey-Davidson Roadster is expected to arrive at US dealers in June.

    GALLERY: 2016 Harley-Davidson Iron 883 and Forty-Eight

  • 2016 Triumph Bonneville T120, T120 Black and Thruxton R official Malaysian release – from RM79,900

    Triumph Malaysia official distributors Fastbikes has released the 2016 Triumph Bonneville T120, T120 Black – both at RM79,900 and Thruxton R at RM91,900. This trio of retro-styled motorcycles feature Triumph’s new liquid-cooled engine, designed to provide more torque while meeting stricter emissions standards.

    The new 1,200 cc engine is a parallel-twin, liquid-cooled, with eight-valves, SOHC and a 270-degree crank. Fuelled by multi-point sequential fuel injection, the new twin powers the T120, T120 Black and Thruxton R, as well as the recently released 2016 Street Twin in 900 cc guise.

    As installed in the T120 versions, the engine produces 79 hp and 105 Nm of torque at 3,100 rpm – 54% more torque than the previous generation T100. In the Thruxton R, the rider has 98 hp and 112 Nm of torque at 4,250 rpm available. For the Thruxton R, the engine now produces 62% more torque than last year’s version.

    2016 Triumph T120 and T120 Black - 2

    Old school design is very evident in the 2016 Bonnevilles, with numerous design touches linking back to the original 1959 Bonneville. The twin-throttle bodies that house the EFI are styled to look like the Amal carburettors of old, but thankfully, no “tickling” of the carburettors is required here for starting.

    Ride-by-wire is standard, and all three bikes come with ABS, traction control and ride modes – two modes for the T120s, and three for the Thruxton R. The Bonnevilles come with Nissin brakes front and rear, while the sportier Thruxton R gets Brembo Monoblocs in front.

    The Bonneville T120 comes chrome-adorned in the traditional British style, while the T120 Black features murdered-out styling with black exhausts, engine and spoke wheels. The Thruxton R is very cafe-racer in design, with low-set handlebars, and Monza-style tank-cap and tank strap. The single-seat is capped off with a tail-piece.

    Additionally, the Thruxton R comes standard with high-end suspension components. These are fully-adjustable Showa 43mm ‘big piston’ forks in front and fully-adjustable Ohlins twin shocks at the back. The Thruxton R comes with 120 mm of suspension travel at both ends. The T120s make do with Kayaba suspension all-round.

    The 2016 Triumph Bonneville T120 and T120 black retail for RM79,900, while the Thruxton R goes for RM91,900. Colours for the T120 are Jet Black, Cinder Red, Cranberry Red/Aluminium Silver and Jet Black/Pure White. The Thruxton R comes in either red or silver. The 2016 Triumph Street Twin retails for RM59,900.

    GALLERY: 2016 Triumph Bonneville T120 and T120 Black

    GALLERY: 2016 Triumph Thruxton R

  • Podride – the all-weather four-wheeled personal e-bike

    Podride velomobile (2)

    From the country that gave the world the adjustable wrench, three-point seatbelt and GPS, now comes the Podride, an all-weather, four-wheeled bicycle, fully-enclosed by a fabric body, and with an electric motor. The brain-child of Swedish designer Mikael Kjellman, Podride was developed a year ago as a prototype personal transport.

    This four-wheeled bicycle – also called a velomobile, quad bike or quadracycle – has a fully enclosed waterproof body with a recumbent seating position that places the rider the same height as a typical saloon car. The Podride is powered by the rider, using 14-speed bicycle gearing, or with the 250-watt electric e-bike motor, and steering uses a pair of tillers.

    There is a small storage space in the rear, and the Podride even has a manual windshield wiper. Headlights and turn signals are also included in the design. Kjellman says the top speed of the Podride is 25 km/h, as governed by Swedish law, and range is approximately 60 km on battery power.

    Designed to tackle the snow and ice of Sweden, the Podride rolls on 20-inch wheels, and has a turning radius of only 1.75 metres. Weighing 70 kg, and with a wheelbase of 880 mm, this velomobile is meant for use on both public roads and bicycle paths.

    Kjellman says that if the Podride – currently seeking crowdfunding – reaches mass production, the price would be between 2,000 to 3,000 euro (RM8,900 to RM13,400). What do you think? The Podride wouldn’t be very practical in Malaysian weather, but there might be some specialised applications for it. Leave a comment with your thoughts and opinions.

  • Scomadi scooters from UK opens KL 3S concept centre – Turismo Leggera TL125, from RM9,069

    2016 Scomadi Turismo Leggera TL125 WM-8

    Scomadi scooters, the revival of the famed Italian scooter brand that is not Vespa, today opened the Scomadi Kuala Lumpur 3S Concept Centre in Setapak. The brain-child of Frank Sanderson and Paul Melici, performance scooter specialists from 30-plus years ago, Scomadi their take on an up-dated Lambretta of the sixties.

    Under the auspices of V Power Motor, the concept centre provides sales, service and accessories for Scomadi’s current range of two models in Malaysia. These are the Turismo Leggera TL125 standard (RM9,095) and SE (RM9,625), both of which are powered by a 125 cc air-cooled single-cylinder, two-valve engine.

    Mounted in standard scooter fashion as part of the swing-arm underneath the rear body-work, the Scomadi Turismo Leggera TL125 has 9.39 hp at 6,500 rpm and 8.90 Nm of torque t 7,200 rpm available, pushing 100 kg of weight. While not sounding like much, Sanderson and Melici point out that Scomadi is more about the lifestyle and image than outright performance.

    2016 Scomadi Turismo Leggera TL125 WM-1

    “Scomadi is a lifestyle machine. It is more about the image, about belonging to a group, getting together with like-minded riders,” said Sanderson. “But that is not to say Scomadi scooters can’t perform. The chassis was developed over 10 to 15 years, with Scomadi founded in 2006,” added Melici.

    A new production facility in Thailand is expected to come on-line within the next 12 months, and will produce between 400 to 500 scooters a week. Scomadi is currently working on making its scooters Euro4 compliant, and also showed a 250 cc, six-speed, manual twist-shift performance scooter in 2015, which will be shown again at Cologne, Germany later this year.

    “We’re also working on a 400 cc concept scooter which we hope to have ready by 2018,” Melici said. Sanderson added, “a 200 cc liquid-cooled engine is also in the works, which should be ready for testing soon.” Both Sanderson and Melici have a long history with performance scooters and scooter racing going back decades, with Sanderson having a hand in the development of a rather infamous RD350LC YPVS engine-powered scooter in the 80s.

    2016 Scomadi Turismo Leggera TL125 WM-10

    Designed by Sanderson and Melici, made in China and Taiwan, and assembled for the Malaysian market in a plant in Tampoi, Johor, Scomadi scooters have embarked on an aggressive expansion plan, focusing on South-East Asia as the world’s largest market for scooters. This has been proven in the market reception of the Turismo Leggera TL125, which has pleasantly surprised Sanderson and Melici.

    This UK-driving license friendly scooter has gained popularity over there, with over 1,000 units sold in the first six months of operation. Scomadi have sold between 5,000 to 6,000 units worldwide, with Malaysia seeing 600 Turismo Leggeras sold since November 2015.

    The Scomadi Turismo Leggera TL125 comes in two versions, the standard and SE. The standard retails for RM9,095 including GST, and comes in Magma Red, Onyx Black, Ocean Blue and Ocean Blue/Magma Red. The SE model goes for RM9,625 including GST, and comes in Matte Grey and a limited edition Chrome.

  • BMW Thailand aims to export 10,000 cars this year

    BMW Group Manufacturing Thailand

    BMW Group Manufacturing Thailand has announced that it will be looking to increase its completely built-up (CBU) exports for 2016 and the following year. The Group aims to ship 10,000 cars annually, mainly to China, according to a report by the Bangkok Post.

    The increase in shipments is in line with the company’s international growth strategy. In September 2015, BMW’s Munich headquarters announced it will invest 1.1 billion baht into expanding the Amata City industrial estate factory in Rayong, which is operated by BMW Manufacturing Thailand.

    With the expansion being completed earlier this year, the factory now has an annual production capacity that is double of before, capable of producing 20,000 BMWs and MINIs. Additionally, motorcycle production has also increased from 1,000 to 10,000 per year

    The Rayong factory has been shipping BMW cars to Malaysia since 2006, and only begun exporting motorcycles to China beginning from last year (1,000 units shipping to Malaysia and China). Both countries are the only international export destinations for the factory until now.

    According to CEO and president of BMW Thailand Matthias Pfalz, the majority of car shipments from the factory for 2016 will be two BMW SUV models – the X3 and X5. The factory’s production catalogue comprises eight BMW models – 1 Series, 3 Series, 3 Series Gran Turismo, 5 Series, 7 Series, X1, X3, X5. It also makes the MINI Countryman.

    On the BMW Motorrad side, the F700GS, F800R, F800GS, F800GT, S1000R, S1000RR, R1200GS and R1200GS Adventure is produced there as well. This makes the Rayong facility the only site in BMW’s global network with full operations for all three brands.

    Pfalz also added that the group had set up an international purchasing office in Thailand to ship auto parts and components to 30 factories in 14 Asian countries. In the future, the group also plans to assemble BMW’s plug-in hybrid electric vehicles for the first time, with the X5 xDrive40e being the first (currently imported).

    In 2015, the Group posted record sales figures of 8,768 cars, a gain of 5% from the previous year. BMW passenger vehicles attributed 7,751 units (up 4%), while MINI saw 1,017 cars delivered, a 10% increase. BMW Motorrad registered 1,280 motorcycles sold, an impressive 83% jump from the previous year.

  • Modenas and Kawasaki in RM79.98 million RRPT deal

    Modenas CT115

    Modenas, otherwise known as DRB-Hicom’s Motosikal Dan Enjin Nasional (National Motorcycle and Engine) division has entered into a recurrent related party transactions (RRPT) with Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan, worth RM79.98 million.

    As reported by Bernama, DRB-Hicom said the RRPT includes the provision of technical support, payment of royalties and supply of completely-knocked-down components for motorcycles by Kawasaki to Modenas. Concurrently, Modenas will also supply motorcycle components to Kawasaki.

    In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, DRB-Hicom reported that the RRPT is necessary for day-to-day operations, and is in the normal course of business for Modenas. “The RRPT is entered into at arm’s length basis and on normal commercial terms which are not more favourable to the related party than those generally available to the public,” as detailed in the filing.


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Last Updated 21 Jun 2018