All posts by mcnews

Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda Team Tribute

Muchas gracias al Repsol Honda Team por este homenaje con tanto cariño. Grandes recuerdos en este GP inolvidable para mí. / Thank you very much to the Repsol Honda Team for organizing this little tribute with so much affection. Great memories In this GP unforgettable for me.
#DP26 #MotoGP #ValenciaGP #RepsolHondaTeam @ Circuit Ricardo Tormo

Source: Dani Pedrosa on Facebook

National Cycle VStream Windscreen for BMW G 310 GS | Review

National Cycle VStream windscreen fitted to a BMW G310GS. Image courtesy National Cycle.
National Cycle VStream windscreen fitted to a BMW G310GS. Image courtesy National Cycle.

If you read our First Ride Review of BMW’s new G 310 GS, or the Mini ADV comparo that followed, you might’ve noticed that one of our complaints about the little GS’s street friendliness was its lack of wind protection. The tiny barely-a-flyscreen was great for bouncing around off-road but not so great once it was time to hit the highway and head home. Living in Southern California means freeways are an unavoidable way of life, so we called up the folks at National Cycle and ordered a VStream Sport Windscreen for our GS.

National Cycle offers three sizes of windscreens for this model, described as Sport, Sport/Touring and Touring, but we decided that with a center height of 14.25 inches and a width of 13.25 inches, the Sport would be plenty big for this pint-sized machine. We also liked its super dark tint, which blended in with the GS’s dark gray paint and pointy nose and didn’t look completely out of place.

The VStream Sport screen is made from 4.5mm Quantum hard-coated polycarbonate; National Cycle says the combo is 30 times more scratch-resistant than acrylic, with better optics and superior UV, chemical, crack and impact resistance. Mounting it is as easy as removing the four 5mm hex head bolts and stock flyscreen, then bolting on the VStream screen with the included 3mm hex bolts. 

The improvement in wind protection was immediately apparent. Whereas in stock configuration I was taking the full force of the wind on my chest and (often peaked, wind-grabbing) helmet, with the VStream that wind was diverted around my torso to my shoulders and arms and to the top of my helmet. The larger Sport/Touring and Touring screens would likely decrease wind blast even more, but I found the Sport to be an ideal compromise between a sporty, off-road ADV look and decent protection.

At $129.95 and covered by a three-year warranty against breakage, the VStream Sport Windscreen is a necessary upgrade for any G 310 GS rider looking to better their ride’s road manners, without overpowering the little GS’s aggressive ADV looks. 

For more information, call (708) 343-0400 or visit


2018 Ducati Monster 797 Review

Some things just make sense: tacos from Baja, coffee from Colombia, and motorcycles from Italy. Last year, Ducati released the friendly and approachable Monster 797 to offer somewhat of a stepping stone into its premier Monster lineup. The Monster was first introduced back in 1993 and at one point accounted for more than half of Ducati’s sales worldwide. The beast from Bologna has been mostly praised for its exceptional performance and power, which can be intimidating for some. However, being such an iconic bike desired by riders of all skill levels, Ducati decided to aim the newest addition to the Monster family toward a more casual enthusiast.

The Ducati Monster 797 comes packed with the same 803cc air-cooled Desmodue twin as the Ducati Scrambler which produces a maximum 73 hp at 8,250 rpm and 49 pound-feet of torque at 5,750 rpm. Matched with a six-speed gearbox transmission, 50mm throttle body, suspended on a 43mm Kayaba USD fork and a preload- and rebound-adjustable Sachs monoshock, all enclosed in a steel trellis frame.

We spent a day putting the Monster 797 to work ripping through canyons and slaying freeway miles to get an overall opinion of the bike in a variety of road conditions. At first glance, the Ducati Monster 797 looks like a bike packed with performance for tight corners, fast speed, and big wheelies, however, looks can be deceiving. My initial impression when throwing a leg over the 797 is the bike offers a neutral, upright seating position that creates a comfy ride. However, this sporty-looking machine became a little disappointing from the initial turn of the key due to an extremely generic display, reading nothing more than mph, trip 1, trip 2, the time, and, well, that’s it. With a very limited electronics package offering only non-switchable ABS, I immediately felt as if I was on a dated motorcycle.

Once I was on my way, bobbing from one side of the tire to the other as I carved through the twisty roads of Julian, California, I found myself gaining confidence in the bike for its rugged chassis and stiff suspension that allows the rider to feel extremely stable and planted throughout the corner. However, the 803cc air-cooled Desmodue twin left me wanting more for its lack of character throughout the revs. Although this bike gets up to speed quickly it just doesn’t seem to do it in an exciting, perilous way that leaves the rider in an emotional spectrum between excitement and terror as they try to put power to the ground and keep the front wheel down. After gaining all that speed it’s time to slow down, and this is where the Monster 797 fell short for me with is twitchy, divvy front end feel when grabbing a handful of front brake.

Although the Ducati Monster 797 doesn’t offer the same raging performance as some of its competitors, the more time I spent in the saddle the more I appreciated Ducati’s vision for a simple middleweight naked bike. This particular Monster creates a traditional experience for the rider transforming them to a time where bikes were more raw and mechanical, and less computerized. This is where the bike excelled for me. It’s not the latest and greatest thing on the road, but for making some pleasant-sounding noise on the open road, this Ducati fits the bill.


Map expert reviews TomTom Rider 550 GPS

TomTom has finally released their new Rider 550 satnav with new routes, wifi, personalised trips, smartphone connectivity, group sharing and voice activation.

It costs $599 and we wondered whether it is worth the money when smartphones these days seem to do so much of the tasks of a satnav.

So we handed over the unit to regular riding partner and map expert Peter “Worldmapman” Davis.

Map expert reviews TomTom Rider 550
Peter Davis

The qualified cartographer has spent 20 years as Sales and Marketing Manager of HEMA Maps and five years running his own geographic information consultancy, so he knows what he is talking about.

Here is his review:

Tom Tom Rider 550Map expert reviews TomTom Rider 550

Out of the box the first thing that impresses is the handlebar mount.

It is RAM brand which I believe to be the best, most secure and robust range of vehicle electronic mounts in the world.

When I attached the mount to the handle bars and went for a run, it did not disappoint; solid with virtually no vibration.

It also allows you to quickly swivel the unit from landscape to portrait mode depending on what you prefer.

The Rider 550 came fully charged and ready to go. And with faster processing, it fires up very quickly. No more waiting for it to load.

It includes a short cable with a proprietary plug on the end to connect to a cable with bare wire ends to route it straight to your battery terminal. There is also a cable with a USB plug to go to a USB charging port. Handy.

However, on my first test I didn’t bother plugging it into power. I ran it on full nav operation for more than four hours and it still had 3/4 battery left. (It is claimed to have six hours’ battery charge.)

I haven’t yet got around to plugging in the power cable and might never feel the need with that much battery power storage!

Speaking of storage, I downloaded the complete set of free world maps. Not many satnavs have that much storage capacity. 

The instruction manual is concise but tells you everything you needed to know.

Wifi connection

TomTom Rider 550 wifi

Since it has wifi, you don’t have to connect to it to a computer for updates.

Once connected to home wifi, the TomTom Rider 550 tells you if there are any updates required and you do this while you are connected.

Operationally it is typical of any modern satnav devices. It is easy to use and quite intuitive. When you take a wrong turn it is lightning fast at recalculating. So much faster than any other GPS unit or smartphone navigation app.

Its stored POIs (points of interest) are also extensive.

On the bike, the screen visibility is very acceptable even in full sun. I could read the screen in all light conditions with minor head adjustments. It automatically reverts to night mode when it is dark.

Its touchscreen works with most gloves, so long as they are not too thick. So if using winter gloves, get a pair with touchscreen-sensitive fingertips like these from Macna.

Macna Saber gloves rider 550
Macna gloves with “touchtip”

Mapping data

The mapping data is very up-to-date which is underlined by the accuracy of the speed zone, speed camera and red light cameras.

Another thing that impresses me is that during school hours the speed in school zones automatically change.

Here’s another impressive feature: the strip map window down the side shows distance to speed cameras, fuel, etc. Very handy!

As you would expect, the device can connect to Bluetooth intercom units. However, if you turn up the volume, it’s easy to hear without Bluetooth connection at all but highway speeds.Map expert reviews TomTom Rider 550

Given that I don’t use Bluetooth much, I wasn’t able to test the voice activation or the new feature that reads smartphone messages aloud in your headset.

However, that sort of technology works well elsewhere so Im sure it’s fine, if you like that sort of thing.

My only concern was that the view randomly swapped orientation between horizontal to vertical, but it did correct quickly. (We noticed this with the previous model if you set it too close to horizontal. It needs to be positioned closer to vertical – MBW).


TomTom Rider 500 is a useful navigation tool and much more suitable to the rugged conditions on your bike than a delicate smartphone.

Given that traffic warnings, speed camera locations and worldwide mapping is included free for the lifetime of the unit, it could be taken and used anywhere in the world.

Tech specs




Rechargeable Lithium Ion

Battery charge

Up to 6 hours autonomous operation

Screen type

11 cm (4.3″) touchscreen. Capacitive, glove-friendly, sunlight readable screen

Screen Resolution

480 x 272 WQVGA




16 GB

RAM Size

512 Mb

SD slot

Micro SD slot


IPX7 – Protects again any wet weather conditions


Smartphone Connected, Bluetooth audio


Update and download without plugging into a computer


Hands-free calling. Smartphone messages. Siri & Google Now


TomTom Traffic, TomTom Speed Cameras, QuickGPSfix via Bluetooth® on your smartphone


Pre-installed Australia, New Zealand, North America, Canada, Mexico. Worldwide maps available to download. Lifetime map updates.


Lifetime Traffic and Speed Cameras Updates


Micro USB port and 2.0 USB cable


136.8 x 88.4 x 30.5




RAM universal mounting kit – fits nearly all bikes



Bring Your Own Connectivity


Automatic Speech Recognition(ASR)


Tilt Sensor


Light Sensor





Sanvenero 125 and 500cc GP Racers from the 1980s

Sanvenero 125cc & 500cc GP Racers

With Phil Aynsley

Emilio Sanvenero (a building contractor) was an enthusiastic bike racing fan and already a sponsor of MBA when he set up his own company in 1980 to produce race bikes with the aim of competing in the following year’s 125 and 500 World Championships.

The 125 proved to be quite successful with team riders Guy Bertin and Richard Tormo both winning a race and finishing 6th and 8th respectively in the ’81 season. In 1982 MBA closed and most of the staff moved to Sanvenero.

PA Sanvenero
Sanvenero 125cc GP Racer

Tormo was joined by Pier Paolo Bianchi in the 125 class, with Tormo winning the Belgian GP but finishing the season in 4th, one point behind Bianchi’s 3rd.

PA Sanvenero
Sanvenero 125cc GP Racer

After Sanvenero folded (during the German GP!) Bianchi was able to obtain several 125s from the receivers and continued to race them during 1983, scoring three podiums and 8th in the championship.

PA Sanvenero
Sanvenero 125cc GP Racer

This 125 is fitted with a special swingarm designed by Antonio Cobas.

PA Sanvenero
Sanvenero 125cc GP Racer

The 500cc project was both far more ambitious and far less successful. The engine was inspired by Suzuki’s RG500, but used a shorter stroke.

PA SanveneroGP
Sanvenero 500cc GP Racer

The crankcases were made by Campagnolo, the crankshafts by Hoeckle and pistons by Mahle. The first frames were made by Nico Bakker but a home-grown chassis was soon used.

PA SanveneroGP
Sanvenero 500cc GP Racer

At least four bikes were constructed during the ’81-’82 seasons. Riders were Carlo Perugini (no points) in ’81 and Guy Bertin (no points) & Michel Frutschi (14th) in ’82.

PA SanveneroGP
Sanvenero 500cc GP Racer

Indeed Frutschi won the French GP at Nogaro after all the top teams boycotted the race due to safety concerns.

PA SanveneroGP
Sanvenero 500cc GP Racer

When the team was declared bankrupt during the German GP at Hockenheim in September the circuit took possession of the two bikes entered and one can still be seen in the circuit museum.

PA SanveneroGP
Sanvenero 500cc GP Racer

The two ’81 bikes are in English and Italian collections while the one I photographed is with a German collector, was mechanically restored over 2012-13 and was ridden at the Bikers Classic meeting at Imola in 2013. It is in original condition (apart from the tyres), including the paint.

PA SanveneroGP
Sanvenero 500cc GP Racer

PA SanveneroGP
Sanvenero 500cc GP Racer

PA SanveneroGP
Sanvenero 500cc GP Racer

PA SanveneroGP
Sanvenero 500cc GP Racer

PA SanveneroGP
Sanvenero 500cc GP Racer

PA Sanvenero
Sanvenero 125cc GP Racer

PA Sanvenero
Sanvenero 125cc GP Racer

PA Sanvenero
Sanvenero 125cc GP Racer

PA Sanvenero
Sanvenero 125cc GP Racer

PA Sanvenero
Sanvenero 125cc GP Racer


Pedrosa named MotoGP Legend as retirement looms this weekend

Spanish ace inducted into the Hall of Fame at Valencia.

Image: Supplied.

Three-time world champion Dani Pedrosa has been named a MotoGP Legend ahead of hanging up his leathers at the end of 2018, with the Spaniard inducted into the MotoGP Legends Hall of Fame at the season finale at Valencia.

Pedrosa won the 125 championship in 2003 and the 250 title in 2004 and 2005, and is one of the most successful riders of all time in the premier category.

After taking the third most podiums of all time behind only Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) and Giacomo Agostini, Pedrosa retires at the end of 2018 with 54 premier MotoGP class victories to his credit.

“First of all thank you to Carmelo and thank you for the nice words,” said Pedrosa.” Obviously it’s a very emotional moment you never expect it to arrive when you’re a kid, and now to be here is a bit strange but I’ happy because I felt a lot of support from all the fans, a lot from all the paddock.

“I’m really, really happy about this moment to see my rivals of a lifetime here. I feel that MotoGP gave me a lot of things in my life because basically I’ve always been here and I learned a lot in life thanks to MotoGP. In the same way I’m very happy that I could give something else to the sport like Carmelo was explaining.

“When I started it was a new generation winning races and championships, not only me but everyone here on the front row. This is good for me because it’s a nice feeling that we opened a door for a new generation. Luckily I don’t know all my numbers which is a good thing!”

Asked about a standout moment, the Spaniard added: “Obviously the moment that stands out for me is the first championship because you achieve something you dreamed of. You know you can get a podium or win a race but to get a championship it’s something that, as a kid, you see these guys going so fast and you don’t believe it.

“So when you achieve it all the emotions come out, and not only that year but for life because you’re been dreaming of it since you were born – watching races on TV and wanting to be that guy. So that day is unique and that’s what makes you, it’s the drive that makes you want more and want to keep going and get through the tough times – and the reaction from the people and the love you get is something I could never imagine so for me that’s the most beautiful.”

Pedrosa joins a long list of greats that have been made MotoGP Legends that includes Giacomo Agostini, Mick Doohan, Geoff Duke, Wayne Gardner, Mike Hailwood, Daijiro Kato, Eddie Lawson, Anton Mang, Angel Nieto, Wayne Rainey, Phil Read, Jim Redman, Kenny Roberts, Jarno Saarinen, Kevin Schwantz, Barry Sheene, Marco Simoncelli, Freddie Spencer, Casey Stoner, John Surtees, Carlo Ubbiali, Alex Crivillé, Franco Uncini, Marco Lucchinelli, Randy Mamola, Kork Ballington and the late Nicky Hayden.

The number 26 is set to take on a development role with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing next year, while his position at Repsol Honda will be fulfilled by multi-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo.


Jawa Classic Legends unveiled in India

Jawa Motorcycles are back with a retro vengeance with the unveiling of three new Classic Legends models in India.

Unfortunately, owners Mahindra Motorcycles are only licensed by the original Czech Jawa company to make and sell the bikes in India.

However, we believe that could change in the next few years if these are successful.

Jawa Classic Legends

Mahindra is releasing the bike under a new brand called Classic Legends Private Ltd which will also produce Yezdi (made Jawa-Yedi bikes in the ‘60s-‘70s) and BSA motorcycles.

Yes, that’s right, the company also has the outright ownership of the British brand and expects to make retro-styled BSA models soon for sale around the world.

New Classic Legends Jawa Classic Legends

The new Indian-made Jawa motorcycles are currently only available for domestic sale.

They are the Jawa, Jawa Forty Two and Perak bobber which feature the traditional “egg-shaped” headlamp with integrated instruments. The Forty Two has a separate offset instrument pod.

Other iconic features include a tool box, dual shocks, twin peashooter exhausts and flat bars. 

Indian prices are Rs 1.64 lakh, Rs 1.55 lakh and Rs 1.89 lakh, respectively. That’s about $A3130-3600 ($US2280-2600, £1780-2050).

Jawa Classic Legends
Perak bobber

The bikes will be available in India early next year with the bobber following later in 2019.

All are powered by a new 293cc liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine which has been styled to resemble the original air-cooled motor.Jawa Classic Legends

It has a very modest output of 20kW (27bhp) of power and 28Nm of torque.

The bikes come with a disc brake on the front with single-channel ABS and a rear drum brake. To be considered for global exported, Mahindra will first have to update to all discs and two-channel ABS.

Mahindra group chairman Anand Mahindra says it is “rare to get an opportunity to resurrect a legend”.

“Jawa is an authentic and iconic brand that represents the desire and yearning in all of us for freedom and adventure,” he says. 

Jawa Classic Legends tech specs

Jawa Classic Legends
  • ENGINE: 293cc Single Cylinder, 4 Stroke, Liquid Cooled, DOHC 
  • BORE STROKE: 76 x 65
  • POWER: 20kW (27bhp)
  • TORQUE: 28Nm 

    Jawa Classic Legends
    Jawa Forty Two

  • TRANSMISSION:  Constant Mesh 6 Speed
  • FRAME: Double cradle
  • TYRES: 90/90 – 18;  120/80 – 17
  • SUSPENSION: Telescopic Hydraulic Fork; gas canister dual hydraulic shocks
  • BRAKES: 280mm disc with floating caliper and ABS; rear 153mm drum
  • SEAT: 765mm
  • WHEELBASE: 1369mm
  • WET WEIGHT: 170kg
  • TANK: 14 litres


Lorenzo plans Ducati outgoing at Valencia grand prix

Spaniard prepared for Repsol Honda debut at post-season test.

Image: Supplied.

After missing the last four races due to injury, Jorge Lorenzo will return to action this weekend at Valencia’s MotoGP World Championship finale, marking his last outing in Ducati Team colours.

Repsol Honda bound Lorenzo believes his wrist injury has improved drastically in the last two weeks since attempting to ride at Sepang, and is hopeful of putting in one final strong performance for the Italian squad prior to his departure.

“I will be riding on Sunday,” Lorenzo declared. “I think I’m quite well to be able to ride, in Sepang I wasn’t or I wasn’t able to fight for anything important. “But the injury has improved a lot in the last 10 days so now I feel good enough to try and achieve the best result possible for the team.

“It will be an emotional race because it will close an important chapter in my career. Maybe the rain will help me a bit to not stress the injury too much in the recovery too. I’m looking forward to getting on the bike. The first person I had to demonstrate something to was myself, but not even that because I always believed I can go fast on any bike it’s just a question of time.

“We’ve seen changing bikes in MotoGP is very difficult, the level is so high and every small bit of time is so important. In tenths you go from winning to losing ten positions. It was just a matter of time and with that time I showed I was competitive enough to win races. Not fighting for the target I wanted to achieve at Ducati, but here the good moments were very good and I want to give them the last present of a good race on Sunday.”

The multi-time world champion will experience his first taste of the Honda RC213V on Tuesday at the post-season Valencia test.