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2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE Review | Motorcycle Tests

The return of the Scrambler style motorcycle has certainly been a big news story in recent years. Some are little more than a styling exercise, while others, like Triumph’s new 1200 Scrambler XE, claim to be ready to bang in the bush.

Triumph Scrambler XE Bells Beach Brewery
Bikes and a brewery.. Trev in heaven…. Bells Beach Brewery

Triumph Australia were keen to have us test their new Scrambler’s mettle in the dirt and set up a series of special tests in an off-road training area, along with a good dirt loop that took in ruts, deep sand and a few obstacles along the way.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Log
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

We only tested the more off-road oriented XE model but both that and the more road focussed XC roll on tasty spoked Akront (there is a blast from the past), rims that suit tubeless tyres. The XE gets an off-road spec’ 21×2.15 front married to a 17×4.25” at the rear along with an extra ‘Off-Road Pro’ added to the riding modes that puts it all down to you, with traction off and the ABS off.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Dirt Cover
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Off road we ran on chunky Pirelli Scorpion Rally rubber which performed admirably and looked the business. Obviously if running these for road work you might as well just sit in the corner and tear up $50 notes every 10 minutes, as they will be toasted in no time, drugs would be a cheaper habit…. Their purchase off-road though was excellent and allowed for some serious fun in the dirt, and well it was Triumph’s $50 bills I was tearing up every ten minutes…

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Dirt
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

It was genuinely amazing how well the XE handled a very rough dirt track, ruts and even a bit of sand.  A very generous and well controlled 250 mm of suspension travel is what endows it with genuine off-road chops.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Dirt
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Up front Showa provide the fully-adjustable 47mm forks while Ohlins collaborated with Triumph to develop the fully-adjustable piggyback shocks that grace the rear. They’ve done a damn good job.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Dirt
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

I am currently heavier than the average bear and despite not holding back on the dirt loop I never had the suspension g-out or do anything untoward. To be honest, I probably went harder than I really should of, but that massive 250 mm of suspension travel just soaked everything up and lured me into going harder and harder. Curiously some riders that must have been 30kg lighter than me did manage to bottom them out, but I used my legs and flowed with the bike, and was rewarded with a compliant and controlled ride. If you are unlucky enough to hit the pegs they do fold on impact which is handy.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Water
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

To put it into perspective, the XE has more travel than any multi-cylinder adventure bike I can think of, which really is truly remarkable and clearly underlines that this Scrambler, can damn well scramble! It has a full 100mm more travel than Ducati’s Scrambler and Indian’s new FTR1200. This means that with all that travel to play with there is enough scope in the stroke to allow for nice smooth and supple initial travel, that then steadily firms up through the compression to retain control. If the damping control was not great, this bike would suffer, but thankfully it works well, really well.

Triumph Scrambler XE Shocks
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

The latest generation electronic suspension can deliver almost the best of both worlds, automatically tuning itself to the riding mode and role selected. The Scrambler has eschewed this technology in place of conventional suspension.

Triumph Scrambler XE Extreme kit
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE with ‘Extreme’ Inspiration Kit

While this might be a boon for long-term owners that won’t have to worry about expensive actuators and the like shitting themselves when out of warranty, it did have me a little worried as to the road performance of the suspenders. With so much travel surely the suspension would be all over the shop on the road? 

Triumph Scrambler XE Shocks
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

I need not have worried. With the clickers adjusted to suit the road ride, and by making my inputs smooth, the damping throughout the stroke remained very well controlled. No doubt the XC model with its more road tuned 200mm of travel would be more fun on the tarmac if having a real lairy crack, but the XE does more than okay, and much better than I expected. For the tarmac we swapped to more road-oriented Tourance rubber which was a welcome change to better enjoy the Great Ocean Road.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Road
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

With that much suspension travel then surely you need a step-ladder to reach the seat? No, at 870mm and with a very slim girth, throwing a leg over the Scrambler is also easier than on any multi-cylinder pukka adventure bike. The same goes for manoeuvring in the car park.  It is only just over 200kg dry, so is a relative lightweight considering its engine capacity.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Road
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Can the Scrambler XE really take the place for a full-size adventure bike?

Not really, no.

Triumph Scrambler XE Escape Kit
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE with the ‘Escape’ Inspiration Kit

Those same svelte lines and lack of bodywork that make it so manageable, and attractive, also mean that when it comes to serious long-distance touring you have no real weather protection and limited amenity for convenient luggage options.  You can work around it of course, particularly if traveling solo, but that is probably the primary factor that stops the Scrambler being long-distance adventure capable. Well that, and its modest 16-litre fuel capacity.

Triumph Scrambler XE Tank cap
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Off-road though I reckon the Scrambler XE has the measure of a lot of adventure bikes. That awesome suspension combined with what feels like a fairly low centre of gravity, a very long swingarm, 32mm longer than on the XC model in fact, and that 21-inch front, helps make the Triumph is a willing partner for some pretty serious off-road fun. The XE also sports much wider bars than its more road focussed sibling.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Dirt
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

The brakes are proper serious M50 Monobloc Brembos lifted straight from the latest Speed Triple, but the stroke through the adjustable lever is progressive enough for them to not be a handicap off-road. 

Triumph Scrambler XE Brakes
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

And what about the engine?

Triumph Scrambler XE Engine
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

You could not get two engines more different from the same stable than Triumph’s effervescent fizzing ADHD 800cc triple and the big loping parallel-twin that powers the 1200 Scrambler.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Road
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

The Scrambler engine feels b-i-g. Triumph obviously engineered this donk with a big slab of crank weight to give it that feel. This engine, in slightly differing states of tune, is used across a wide gamut of Triumph models. Even though the Scrambler apparently gets a ‘low intertia’ crank and a lighter alternator, you can really feel its big pair of balls swaggering through the crankcases.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Road
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

In Scrambler guise the 270-degree crank is limited to 7500rpm, that’s 500rpm higher than in the T120, but its best work is still done off the bottom and into the mid-range. Its smooth all the way to red-line, and makes its maximum 90 horsepower at 7400rpm but this motor is all about torque. It grunts off the bottom with that aforementioned satisfyingly heavy gait, which really adds to the character of the machine.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Road
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Some might think I am bagging this characteristic of the motor, but in fact it is what really charms me to the driveline.  It makes the Scrambler stand out from the pack somewhat amongst its contemporaries. Triumph’s spec’ sheets quote 110 Nm at 3,950 rpm, but it feels more impressive than that.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Road
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

The six-speed box works well enough and the throttle response changes with the riding mode selected. Dampening things down when off-road, and livening things up in the sportier modes. The torque-assist slipper clutch is ridiculously light but somehow still manages to offer reasonable feel at the lever. This is a bike for those that like to short-shift, ride a smooth wave of torque, and feel big pistons banging away beneath them from low rpm.

Triumph Scrambler XE Headers
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

The two-into-two pipes look as though they might make your legs a little warm. And that they do! During the off-road riding my DriRider Adventure pants bunched up a little around the knee due to the seating position, thus it wasn’t long before I started sitting a bit bow legged to get them away from those stainless steel headers as my pants started to smell of burning fabric! 

The pipes do sound pretty good though, in fact they were surprisingly loud when watching the other boys get up it from the roadside during photo stops. While riding, you don’t get as much aural pleasure though, as the pipes exit way behind you. That’s a great pity, but at least onlookers do get to enjoy a wonderful big-bore timbre as you blast past.

Triumph Scrambler XE Pipes
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Scramblers once were fairly basic affairs but Triumph have thrown pretty much everything at the new Scrambler 1200.

Triumph Scrambler XE Dash
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Second generation TFT screens have all the bells and whistles. Although Triumph’s long awaited bluetooth functionality, allowing for navigation prompts from your phone to be displayed on the screen, now seems around 12 months behind their original schedule.

Triumph Scrambler XE Dash
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Apparently this will come in an update later this year, and will enable to select your route on the ‘My Triumph’ app and then let the bike guide you the way, complete with phone operation from the switchgear too, via the five-way joystick on left bar. This integrated GPS functionality is already available on many other European machines. A unique twist for the Triumph though is that the entire instrument binnacle can be tilted up and down, to help suit the heights of different riders.

Triumph Scrambler XE Dash
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Triumph are about to one-up the others though with their integrated Go-Pro functionality that will also come later in the year. This will enable riders to control their Go-Pro via the five-way joystick also.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Water
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Riding modes, lean-angle sensitive ABS and IMU driven traction control is all standard, as is a very convenient one-touch cruise control. All the switchgear is back-lit which is a great feature.  Keyless ignition, heated grips (standard on XE but optional on XC), and a 5-volt USB charging port under the seat are also included. Curiously though, a great safety item like tyre pressure monitoring is an optional extra.

Triumph Scrambler XE Bells Beach Brewery
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

LED lighting is standard throughout and for those that want to trick out their bikes Triumph have their normal range of inspiration kits ready to add to the Scrambler even before you roll out of the showroom. The ‘Escape’ kit adds a heap of practicality with handsome panniers and some other bits and pieces for $2664.55, while the ‘Extreme’ kit will set you back $3278 and continues the more stripped back look with added bling.  In fact Triumph have over 80 different accessories you can throw at the Scrambler.

Triumph Scrambler XE Extreme kit
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE with ‘Extreme’ Inspiration Kit

As they roll out of the showroom stock the 1200 Scrambler XE will set you back $21,700,  a $1400 premium over the more street oriented XC model. Both prices are plus on road costs.

Triumph Scrambler XE Escape Kit
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE with ‘Escape’ Inspiration Kit

The drivetrain is solid and well proven with long service intervals and should just about go forever. It is a safe bet and one that I think will age very well indeed. I suspect it will really grow on anyone that takes one home to put in their garage as it boasts a charisma missing from so many modern machines. You can compare the specifications of the two Scrambler 1200 models below. 

Source: MCNews.com.au

Slovakia EWC pole reinstates Parkes’ confidence

News 10 May 2019

Slovakia EWC pole reinstates Parkes’ confidence

Australian hopeful of repeat success with YART in round three of EWC.

Image: Supplied.

Yamaha Austria Racing Team’s pole position at the 8 Hours of Slovakia has reinstated Broc Parkes’ confidence after suffering a fall while testing this week.

Marking round three of the 2018/2019 FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC), the Australian is hopeful of repeating the team’s success from last season as they endeavour to claw their way back into title contention.

“I’m happy with our pole position and our performance today,” said Parkes. “It’s helped me regain confidence after my crash during the private tests on Tuesday.

“This is a good track for us as we all have great pace. This year conditions are a lot different as it’s much cooler and the forecast for the weekend is not looking good. It’s the same for everyone and we can be good in all conditions. We want to win like last year and try claw back the points we lost in Le Mans.”

Fellow Australian Josh Hook, part of the reigning champion squad of F.C.C. TSR Honda France, qualified second for tomorrow’s race.

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

Imola debut to serve up new challenge for Bautista

News 10 May 2019

Imola debut to serve up new challenge for Bautista

Home round for Aruba.it Racing – Ducati squad in Italy.

Image: Supplied.

Yet to race at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari venue in Imola, Italy, the circuit will serve up a new challenge for undefeated points leader Alvaro Bautista as the 2019 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) heads there this weekend.

The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati contender tested at the track two weeks ago, granting him a head-start on set-up and familiarising himself with the 4.9km circuit, however the Spaniard acknowledges he needs to gain a greater understanding of lines ahead of the trio of races.

“Two weeks ago I had the chance to test at Imola, a circuit where I’ve never raced before,” Bautista explained. “It was very useful because now I have a few more markers for the weekend race. The track is a bit ‘old style’ – it’s very narrow, with a lot of hard braking points, but it’s got a nice combination of fast corners.

“All things considered, it’s a fun circuit, even though I still have to interpret the lines better. It’ll surely be a great weekend and we hope to arrive at the same competitive level we’ve had so far. For the Aruba team’s and the Ducati factory’s home race, we absolutely want to be and must be on the top of our form!”

Bautista leads the standings with a 53-point advantage over four-time defending champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team).

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

Ducati 50 SL/1 two-stroke

Ducati 50SL/1 two-stroke

With Phil Aynsley


Think Ducati. Think two-stroke? Way back in the ‘60s and ‘70s the company produced a wide range of two-stroke bikes (also a pair of scooters and 3-wheeled delivery vehicles) ranging from 48cc to 125cc.

Ducati stroke PA Sport
A 1963 48 Sport. Later versions had a fan-cooled motor.

Most were cheap, basic transport – but being Italian some models went a step further.

Ducati stroke PA SL
Ducati 50 SL/1

The 50 SL/1 is actually one of my favourite Ducatis. How could anyone not embrace its ‘boy racer’ aesthetics coupled with its diminutive size?

Ducati stroke PA SL
Ducati 50 SL/1

It was released in late 1966 as a replacement for the not quite as over the top 48 Sport. In typical Ducati fashion a ‘standard’ version, the 50 SL, appeared first.

Ducati stroke PA SL
Ducati 50 SL/1

This had the newly designed 50cc two-stroke motor that made 4.2hp and dispensed with the fan-cooling the last model 48 SL used.

Ducati stroke PA SL
Ducati 50 SL/1

A four-speed foot change gearbox replaced the three-speed twist grip change of the 48. The pedal assistance of the earlier motor was also dropped.

Ducati stroke PA SL A
A 50 SL/1A sitting in the tray of a Ducati Muletto 3-wheeler.

The SL/1 used a different head and had a higher compression ratio, which  together with additional porting and 18mm Dell’Orto carb (4mm up on the SL’s) boosted the output to a heady 6hp!

Ducati stroke PA SL
Ducati 50 SL/1

With a dry weight of 58kg a top speed of 80km/h was possible and both low or high level pipes were available.

Ducati stroke PA SL
Ducati 50 SL/1 with low pipe

The most obvious difference to the SL was the styling. A long, narrow tank was fitted that featured very sporty twin filler caps. Together with the short solo seat and exposed front fork springs the look screamed “racer”.

Ducati stroke PA SL highpipe
A 50 SL/1 fitted with the high-level exhaust photographed in Italy.

The not quite as good looking SL/1A was released for 1968, which was the final year of production for the model.

Ducati stroke PA SL
Ducati 50 SL/1

As the SL/SL1 were only intended for the domestic market very few have found their way outside Italy.

Ducati stroke PA SL
The Ducati 50 SL/1 was a domestic only model

The one seen here was imported to the US a few years ago and is in completely original condition.

Ducati stroke PA SL
Ducati 50 SL/1
Ducati stroke PA SL
Ducati 50 SL/1
Ducati stroke PA SL
Ducati 50 SL/1

Source: MCNews.com.au

WESS launches this weekend with Porto Extreme XL Lagares

News 10 May 2019

WESS launches this weekend with Porto Extreme XL Lagares

Portugal to play host to World Enduro Super Series opener.

Image: Supplied.

The 2019 World Enduro Super Series (WESS) launches into action this weekend with Portugal’s Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares, where the battle to become the ultimate enduro champion will commence.

Covering eight rounds of exciting mixed discipline enduro racing across seven months, WESS brings together the sport’s best riders as they fight it out in Classic Enduro, Hard Enduro and Cross-Country racing.

Like in 2018, the Toyota Porto Extreme XL Lagares will kick things off with Superenduro, Urban and Hard Enduro action across three days in northern Portugal.

Expanding on 2018, the 15th edition of the Portugal’s most-important Hard Enduro race will see almost 300 riders compete across five categories that will include 54 Pro competitors.

As the defending WESS champion, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt will start as the rider to beat in 2019. Bolt won the event last year and will look to rekindle all of that winning form this time round.

However, an off-season knee injury has sidelined the likeable British rider for the majority of the winter meaning round one will mark his first return to competitive action since that championship-winning ride last November.

Ending the 2018 series as runner-up, Germany’s Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) was a revelation last year with the privateer rider regularly challenging the leading factory-supported riders for top honours. Third overall in Extreme XL Lagares 12 months ago, the KTM rider is fired up for victory this time around.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jonny Walker finished second in Portugal last year before going on to lead the majority of the series until a season-ending crash in September. Just recently crowned the British Extreme Enduro Champion shows he is back to his best.

Placing fourth overall in Extreme XL Lagares in 2018, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Taddy Blazusiak delivered arguably one of the day’s standout performances. From a late starting position, the Polish rider overtook almost 40 riders on his way to the front of the field. Aiming for an easier time of things this year, Blazusiak could prove a serious threat for the top step of the podium.

Tied on three wins with Graham Jarvis (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing), Alfredo Gomez has claimed the most victories in Portugal’s toughest Hard Enduro. Missing the event in 2018 due to injury, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider returns in 2019 eager to increase his win tally. Jarvis – fifth in 2018 – is a rider never to be counted out when the going gets tough.

His vast experience around the challenging Lagares mountainside is not in question and he will no doubt figure at the sharp end of the results when it matters most.

Source: MotoOnline.com.au

Pramac and Generac named title sponsors of Phillip Island MotoGP

News 10 May 2019

Pramac and Generac named title sponsors of Phillip Island MotoGP

Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix to sport new naming partners in 2019.

Image: Supplied.

Dorna Sports has announced Pramac and Generac will be the title sponsors for the 2019 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, with the companies taking top billing at one of the most spectacular events of the season on 25-27 October.

Generac and Pramac are world leaders in the production and supply of power generation systems and material handling equipment. Pramac has a long history in racing – including previous title sponsor agreements for grand prix in China, Germany and Australia – and first joined the MotoGP grid as a team in 2002, since becoming one of the most successful Independent Teams in the paddock with numerous podiums to their name.

With Australian Jack Miller currently riding for the squad – and already a podium finisher in 2019 – the timing could not be better for Pramac and Generac to title sponsor his home grand prix at Phillip Island.

“It makes us very proud to return to be the title sponsor a MotoGP event, and to do it in Australia is an even bigger source of satisfaction as we have great links to the country – evidenced by the fact that Mick Doohan is our global ambassador,” said Paolo Campinoti, Pramac CEO and Generac executive vice president.

“The Australian market is also a very important one for both Pramac and Generac, and we’re sure that Jack Miller will carry the Pramac Racing flag, and that of our companies, very high. It’s sure to be an exciting weekend!”

MotoGP will now race across Europe throughout the summer before the flyaways begin once again in October and the world’s fastest motorcycle Championship returns to stunning venues like Phillip island – this year for the Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

Wilson chances ‘slim’ for Hangtown Pro Motocross start

News 10 May 2019

Wilson chances ‘slim’ for Hangtown Pro Motocross start

Factory Husqvarna pilot still recovering from shoulder injury.

Image: Supplied.

Former 250MX champion Dean Wilson believes his chances of making Hangtown’s Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship opener are slim as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury.

Wilson was fighting for position when a rare mechanical malfunction struck his FC 450 at Denver’s supercross while negotiating a rhythm section, prompting him to crash heavily and sustaining shoulder damage in the process.

Confirming he’ll remain with the factory Husqvarna squad for the outdoor series, Wilson has declared he’s doing everything possible to make round one, although he acknowledges it will be unlikely.

“I have been doing all I can to get back to 100 percent doing my therapy/training and all sorts of remedies, but sometimes the body just needs to do its thing and heal,” Wilson explained. “The goal was to be at the first round of outdoors but chances of that may be slim.

“I will be on the factory Rockstar Husky team all summer for those asking. Taking this day by day as it’s very frustrating – I want to be out there so bad. I will come back when I can!”

Wilson started the year out as a privateer aboard Husqvarna machinery, however was drafted back into the factory team after Jason Anderson was ruled out with injury. The team has since signed him for the entire Pro Motocross championship.


Source: MotoOnline.com.au

High heeled boot causes fatal rider crash

A high heeled diamanté fashion boot that stuck on the footpeg caused a 29-year-old Polish woman to fatally crash her Yamaha, a British coroner has found.

A Dorset Coroner’s Court heard that Monika Kunda looked down as she struggled with her left foot and lost control of her Yamaha and crashed in Bournemouth in August 2018.

Coroner Brendan Allen said Monika appeared to have been fatally distracted by her boots.

“It is with the utmost importance that bikers wear appropriate clothing, no matter how short the journey and no matter how familiar the person is with it,” he says.

High heeled boots

There are many high-heeled and high-soled motorcycle boots on the market.

Many short riders wear these boots to give them extra length to touch the ground.

There is a wide range of these boots available, some with just a high heel and others with a high sole along the length of the sole.

The boots in this case had a “two-to-three inch chunky heel”, which would make them easy to get caught on the footpegs.

High-heeled boots are more of a fashion accessory. Boots with high soles may not be as easy to get caught in a footpeg.

Certainly, never wear stilettos when riding as these women are.

Short tips

If you are short, you might also consider modifying the suspension, getting a lower seat fitted or swapping to a motorcycle with a lower seat.

Check out our guide to motorcycle seat heights here.

There are also techniques for short riders to cope better.

Click here for our top 10 tips.

Our short riding mate, Brian, not only struggles with a height, but also a dicky knee which he has trouble bending.

But where there’s a will, there’s always a way as this video shows.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Indian Motorcycle Launches Companys First Ever Rental Program

Always wanted to try an Indian but couldn’t make it to any demo days? Here’s your opportunity.

Begin press release:


Indian Motorcycle, America’s first motorcycle company, today announced its first-ever rental program, Indian Motorcycle Rentals. Available now at select dealers around the country, Indian Motorcycle Rentals provides local residents and those traveling the opportunity to rent a new Indian motorcycle for as short as four hours or as long as several weeks.

Indian Motorcycle Rentals is currently available through ten dealers around the country, with plans to continue to expand throughout the year. Participating dealers will have a rental fleet with various models available. Each dealer’s rental fleet will be updated out every 12-18 months to ensure riders have the opportunity to ride Indian Motorcycle’s current model year lineup. Riders with a valid motorcycle license can go online to book their Indian Motorcycle experience in advance to ensure bike availability at the Indian Motorcycle Rentals’ web page.

“Whether local or from out of town, Indian Motorcycle Rentals provides a premium experience for riders in need of a bike,” said Reid Wilson, Sr. Director Marketing and Product Development for Indian Motorcycle. “With a rental fleet featuring the current model year lineup, riders will have the opportunity to experience the latest and greatest from Indian Motorcycle.”

Each motorcycle rental will include insurance as part of the rental fee. Riders will also have access to helmets, if they do not have their own. In addition to helmets, riders are required to have additional safety gear including long pants and close toed shoes.  Additional protective gear, such as gloves, riding jacket and high-visibility or reflective clothing, is also recommended.

Riders can visit indianmotorcycle.com/indian-motorcycle-rentals/ to find Indian Motorcycle Rentals locations and book reservations. To learn more about Indian Motorcycle visit IndianMotorcycle.com and follow Indian Motorcycle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.








The post Indian Motorcycle Launches Company’s First Ever Rental Program appeared first on Motorcycle.com News.

Hartford Classic 250 motorbike review

The Hartford Classic 250 rides into Australia on a nostalgic wave of small-capacity neo-classic motorcycles appealing to hip young among commuters.

At just $4799 plus on-road costs, it’s a bargain way to enter the market or add a second bike to your garage.

Hartford motorcycles and scooters are made in Taiwan and imported by Joe Fisher of Hartford Australia, based in Ballina.

Joe also imports the Hartford 125cc Sienna ($3399) and 300cc Vita ($6199) scooters. The Sienna comes with a one-year warranty and the Vita with a 24-month warranty.

Hartford Classic 250
Hartford Vita and Sienna scooters (All images by Jeff Gough)

He recently invited me to ride the bike and scooters over Mt Tamborine in south-east Queensland.

Classic 250Hartford Classic 250

First impression of the Classic 250 is that it looks great.

Styling is very retro and quality of parts and build is as good as bargain Japanese bikes.

If you are into customising bikes, there wouldn’t be much to do as the front and rear fenders are chopped already and the rest of the bike’s styling is spot-on.

Perhaps the only modifications I’d make is swapping to Ace bars and bar-end mirrors for a cafe racer look or MX bars and upswept pipe for a scrambler/tracker feel.

Surprisingly the Classic 250 has an easy-to-read digital single instrument dial and all LED lighting. That means headlight, indicators, brake and taillight are all bright LEDs.Hartford Classic 250

The bike also comes with front and rear discs with ABS as required on all 125cc+ motorcycles from November this year.

It is powered by an air-cooled 223cc four-stroke engine with just 13kW of power at a dizzy 9000 revs.

You have to rev it and use the gears to get the most out of the single-cylinder engine, but it will run ahead of most of the city traffic up to a claimed top speed of 111km/h.

However, the transmission is geared way too low and you quickly flick through to the fifth and final gear by 60km/h where it buzzes quite a lot.

Joe says he plans to add a tooth to the front to decrease the ratios and provide a better spread of gears.

That would decrease the buzz and mean fewer gear changes in traffic which would be handy as the cable clutch is quite heavy. However, the transmission feels as slick as most Japanese models with no false neutrals and neutral easy to find.Hartford Classic 250

At just 132kg wringing wet, it’s as light as a feather and a joy to flick around the city streets.

I wasn’t particular happy with the standard Taiwanese Duro HF308 tyres on the 18-inch wheels.

They look like classic Firestone tyres with that zig-zag tread and angular edge. That makes them flop a bit in corners which takes a bit of getting used to. They also are plasticky and grip isn’t great.

Suspension is rudimentary with soft forks that dive under braking and a hard spring with an under-damped shock, yet it all works just fine thanks to the low bike weight.

I didn’t encounter any dramas over the bumps and lumps of Mt T carrying my 80kg frame around, but a heavier rider might struggle.

Over our short ride, we didn’t get a chance to drain a tank, but the claimed economy of 2.5L/100km would provide more than 450km of range from the generous 12-litre tank.

Joe is offering a 24-month and 24,000km warranty. He hopes to have dealers in Ballina, the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

Hartford scooters

Hartford Classic 250
Hartford Vita scooter

The scooters also looked like Japanese quality scooters and behaved in a similar manner.

Their prices and features make them a great bargain.

They would make a great second machine as an alternative for commuting, small grocery shopping or a quick ride to your favourite cafe.

Hartford Classic 250Hartford Classic 250

  • Price: $4799 (+ORC)
  • Warranty: 2 years/24,000km
  • Engine: 223cc, single-cylinder, four-stroke
  • Power: 12kW @ 9000rpm
  • Transmission: 5-speed, chain drive
  • Brakes: discs, ABS
  • Wet weight: 132kg
  • Wheels: 350×18; 400×18
  • Fuel tank: 12 litres
  • Economy: 2.5L/100km
  • Length: 2000mm
  • Width: 800mm
  • Height: 1070mm
  • Wheelbase: 1340mm
  • Website: https://hartfordmotorcycles.com.au/

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com