Tag Archives: Motorbikes

MV Agusta Signs More Chinese Deals

Italian motorcycle manufacturer MV Agusta seems intent on cracking the enormous Chinese motorcycle market.

In 2019, they signed an agreement with Chinese manufacturer Loncin to make 300-400cc bikes branded as MV Agusta for the world market.

Now they have signed a deal with another Chinese company, QJ-Motor, to distribute their bikes in China and possibly produce their bikes “at a later stage”.

New MV boss Timur Sardarov told us earlier this year that Chinese motorcycle manufacturing was well established and the economy was “quick-reacting economy, not disorganised”.

“They have one goal and they are ready to grow again,” he said.

“Their market is showing incredible growth already after the coronavirus.

“Let’s be very clear, we are developing our own platform and Loncin will industrialise it and produce for us for the world market.”

He rebutted suggestions the low-capacity Chinese-made bikes would dilute the premium Italian brand.

“Porsche is a premium product, but they have different products from $1m down to $50,000 and it’s still a premium product by quality not price,” Timur says.

Aldi Motorcycle gear

“They (the Chinese-made bikes) will be the most expensive bikes in their category because they will have premium components.

“In comparison with KTM and Honda they will be more expensive, but have better performance and better build.”

The new deal with QJ-Motor will initially involve the distribution of MV Agusta models through a network of flagship stores across the country.

However, it may also involve production of their bikes in China, according to the strange wording in their press release:

“At a later stage the partnership will also have important developments on the industrial front, and collaboration in that sense is presently being defined.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

The Two-Stroke Motorcycle Is Not Yet Dead

Proving there is still life in the two-stroke engine is new British company, Langen Motorcycles.

They will unveil a limited-edition, bespoke model, eponymously titled the Two Stroke, at the Salon Privé from 23-26 September 2020 at Blenheim Palace UK.

The road-legal 250cc Two Stroke will cost from £28,000 (about $A50,000) and only 250 will be made.

It’s powered by a two-stroke motor from Italian company Vins Motors who make lightweight, bespoke Duecinquanta motorcycles that cost up to $A80,000.

Major motorcycle companies have ditched two-stroke engines because they fail to meet the ever-more-stringent emissions regulations.

However, companies such as Vins and Langen are still producing expensive two-stroke bikes either for track use only or in limited-edition batches that are not governed by emissions regulations.

There is also the possibility that two-stroke engines can be cleaned up through innovative designs such as Australian Basil van Rooyen’s Crankcase Independent Two-Stroke (CITS) engine that meets tough emissions requirements as it eliminates total-loss lubrication.

2 stroke CITS engine fail
Aussie-designed two-stroke CITS engine

So there is still hope for those who love the two-stroke’s ring-ding-ding sound, light-switch power delivery, high revs, light weight, frugal fuel consumption and blue-smoke aroma.

Langen’s Two Stroke V-twin has a 14,000 red line and produces more than 75bhp (56kW) and 45Nm (33lb.ft).

The Vins engine has fuel injection, ECU-controlled oil injection, carbon fibre reed valves and electronic exhaust valves.

The whole bike weighs just 114kg (251lb) for a power-to-weight ratio of 660bhp/ton.

Two-stroke

It features CNC-machined bits, laser-cut aluminium tubing, Hel Performance brakes, Ohlins forks, British K-Tech rear shocks and plenty of carbon-fibre, including the fuel tank.

Langen is designed, engineered and built in Wigan, Manchester.

Ewan McGregor tonight show

Each engine will be built to order and individually numbered to match the customers motorcycle, with fully CNC machined casings and custom interchangeable gearbox. Customisation can range from paint colours, chassis finish and suspension type to wheels, along with tailored ergonomics for each individual rider.

Chris Ratcliffe, creator of Langen and designer of the Two Stroke, has more than 10 years’ experience designing successful motorcycles.

“The company has been founded with the aim of producing motorcycles with a simplicity and purity of days gone by, like the ‘Ton-up boys’ and their Caf racers – yet pushing the limits of modern technology,” he says

“My dream has always been to create a small piece of British motorcycling history. To be able to launch this special motorcycle under a completely new brand really is a dream come true.

The aim is to continue to push boundaries and create more interesting bikes, which we hope will really please people.”

The first run of 100 will be built from the second quarter of 2021 and will be road legal in the UK with 150 more in 2022 which all be road legal in other countries.

Orders are now being taken with a £1000 ($A1770) refundable deposit to secure one of the 100 initial bikes.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Electric Novus Is Light, But Expensive

This Novus carbon-fibre electric motorcycle weighs just 110kg and has only 100km of city range, yet it costs a whopping $US46,000 (about $A63,000).

That’s even more than the expensive Harley-Davidson LiveWire at $US29,900 ($A49,995) which has about 250km of city range.

Novus

Even so, the sleek Novus with its hollow where you would normally expect an engine is not the most expensive electric motorcycle in the world.

That “honour” goes to the Detonator at $US150,000 (about $A215,000).

Detonator expensive electric motorcycle
Detonator

It’s not even as expensive as the pedal-assisted Black Trail BT at $80,000 ($A114,500).

However, it would just squeeze into the top 10 most expensive electric motorcycles at number nine.

Novus

The prices of electric motorcycles will eventually come down like the prices of flat-screen TVs did, but right now they are very expensive.

In fact, only rich, early adopters will be rushing out to buy most electric motorcycles.

As Novus states: “We don’t build motorcycles. We create desires.”

Novus

It’s more of a “look-at-me” thing, rather than an economical decision to save money on petrol.

There is also a lot of debate over the whole-of-life environmental impact of electric versus petrol machines, but that’s a whole other issue.

peugeot

The Novus features a carbon-fibre monocoque frame, mono fork, swingarm and rims.

Novus

Interestingly the rear suspension is hidden in the swingarm and the front suspension has a proprietary, adjustable mono fork.

The non-removable 4.3kWh battery can be 80% charged in 30 minutes and sits inside the bottom of the frame to lower the centre of gravity.

Novus

Novus is powered by a 18kW rear hub motor with a top speed of 120km/h (74.5mph) and a 0-50km/h time of three seconds. That compares with the LIveWire that hits 100km/h in the same time.

Clever features are a Supernova headlight integrated in the handlebar and LED instruments which can be swapped for your mobile phone using a proprietary app.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Dakar Dream Becomes Custom Reality

Brisbane rider Daniele Milazzo grew up watching the Dakar Rally on SBS TV and always dreamt of owning one of the victorious BMW race bikes.

Dakar Dreams

Instead of trying to find an ex-race bike, Daniele set about totally rebuilding a 1983 BMW R 80 ST and customising it into a G/S version.

Dakar Dreams

“It’s not a full rally replica, but more of a comfort off-road tourer,” Daniele says.

Dakar Dreams

BMW Motorrad built the R 80 G/S from 1980 to 1987 and won the famous Europe-to-Africa Dakar Rally in 1981,1983–1985 with the R 80.

After the rally organisers reduce the engine capacity limits because of the dangers of the powerful high-speed machines, BMW won again in 1999 and 2000 with an F 650 model.

Daniele, a 44-year-old digital designer, has been riding since 2000 on everything from a Vespa to a BMW R 1200 GS.

Dakar Dreams

“I chose this bike because growing up I remember vividly the Sahara Dakars,” he says.

“The adventure you could sense in those early races.”

Dakar Dreams

Better Deal Petition

So why an R 80 ST?

“One day I met Ron Van de Weil, a very experience mechanic, and after talking to him, we embarked on the journey of improving what is a solid machine and restoring what needs to be fixed.

Dakar Dreams

“The bike has been rebuilt from the ground up. It’s a comfortable adventure bike. Meticulously put together.”

Dakar Dreams

We think it looks pretty cool!

If you have a special custom bike you would like to share with us, click here to send an email.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Will Manufacturers Fight Chinese Ripoffs?

The latest blatant ripoff of motorcycle design by the Chinese is a Moto S450RR which looks very much like BMW’s S 1000 RR and even features a version of the famous Bavarian marque’s blue roundel logo.

It is not the first nor the last ripoff of successful motorcycle and car models by the Chinese who are making headlines for intellectual property and data theft almost daily.

BMW Chinese Ripoff

In fact, It’s not the first BMW ripoff, either.

Last year we reported on a BMW G 310 GS ripoff, called an Everest Kaiyue 400X.

In the past we have also seen Chinese electric versions of the Honda Goldwing, China’s CFMoto 650TK which is very similar to Honda’s ST1300 and a Chinese brand called “Hongda” that made Honda lookalikes.

The Vietnamese are also in on the ripoff act with “Ducati” Monsters made by Quang Phuong Motor.

But what is most alarming is that motorcycle companies seem to be nothing about the theft of their intellectual property.

We contacted high-level executives at BMW Global asking what they would do about the ripoffs.

BMW Chinese Ripoff

These contacts normally reply quickly and even over weekends!

However, five days later there is not a word from BMW HQ, just as there was last time with the G 310 GS ripoff.

In fact, the only company that seems to actively pursue the copycats is iconic Italian scooter company Lambretta who is taking “strict” action against companies “free riding on the repute of Lambretta”.

They claim the global market is flooded with replicas of their classic scooters from China, India and Thailand.

The Chinese seem immune to international trade laws that bind other countries.

Better Deal Petition

We all know the Chinese make cheap copies of well-known brands and many of us probably have a Gucci belt made of plastic in a sweatshop in China

However, the Chinese have also made a lot of copies of bigger and more expensive products such as cars.

Some of the cars Chinese manufacturers have copied include the Range Rover Evoque, Smart ForTwo, Hummer, Porsche Cayman, Audi A6, Jeep Cherokee, BMW X1, Rolls-Royce Phantom and MINI Cooper.

Several car manufacturers tried to stop them copying their cars, but failed in an obstructive and partisan legal system, so they formed alliances with Chinese companies to make their products for the local market.

Honda and Yamaha have also tried to fight Chinese manufacturers in the courts over breach of copyright, but it is a long process as there are hundreds of knockoff manufacturers.

So, like the car makers, Honda has formed an allegiance with one of the knockoff Chinese companies to make their bikes for the local market.

Images for this article sourced from MotoSaigon.vn

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Harley-Davidson Relaunches Enthusiast Magazine

Harley-Davidson will relaunch The Enthusiast magazine originally published from 1916 to 2008 to replace HOG Magazine as their official publication.

This is a significant move that fits in with new boss Jochen Zeitz’s return to focussing on traditional values.

Since moving into the rider’s seat in February, Jochen has made a lot of changes in his “Rewire” and “Hardwire’ strategies.

Apart from cutting back on staff, wages, models and markets, he is also focussing on the core product and traditional customers.

It’s a relief for many Harley fans who feel they have been neglected as the company tried to find new customers in new niches, spreading itself thin and neglecting diehard fans.

In Australia, Harley owners have been particularly concerned about Harley taking over the Harley Owners Group and opening up the annual national rally to non-members and non-owners.

As part of this refocus, the HOG Magazine returns to The Enthusiast, one of the world’s longest-running motorcycle magazines.

“This is the return to a great tradition,” says Jochen.

“We believe today The Enthusiast title is more relevant than ever.

“In a year when so many people have been stuck inside, we passionately believe in inspiring riders and aspiring riders to get out in the world to rediscover adventure through socially-distanced riding.”

Mash Motorcycles

All Full and Life Harley Owner Group members will continue to receive a complimentary subscription to The Enthusiast magazine as part of their membership benefits.

Free App versions of the magazine are also available for iOS and Android phones and tablets.

For more information and history about The Enthusiast magazine, visit h-d.com/enthusiast.

The first issue features Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on the cover after riding their electric LiveWire from the bottom of South Africa to LA for their upcoming Long Way Up TV series.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

100th Anniversary Limited Edition Suzuki GSX-R1000R Coming to the UK

Suzuki has its 100-year anniversary coming up. The motorcycle company has a limited edition GSX-R1000R that it has created for the occasion.

Only 100 of the limited-production machine will be made and the price for one of these will be £16,999 ($22,000 USD). The bike comes with a retro-inspired livery that is featured on the GSX-RR MotoGP bike. This means you get a blue slate silver color scheme that pays homage to Suzuki’s racing motorcycles.

Suzuki GSX-R1000R Limited Edition

Otherwise, the motorcycle has the same variable valve timing system and the suite of electronics that the GSX-RR has. That includes 10 traction control settings, a quick-shifter, auto-blipper, launch control, and lean-angle-sensitive ABS.

The bike has a four-stroke 100cc engine that makes 199 hp and 86.7 lb-ft of torque. It weighs 488 lbs (203 kg). It can do a 0-60 mph sprint in just three seconds.

Suzuki GSX-R1000R Limited Edition

2015 Sturgis Rally senior citizens

“With just 100 of these bikes available in the UK this is a unique opportunity to own and be a part of Suzuki history. The GSX-R range, and the 1000 in particular, has long been the flagship range of sportsbikes with an illustrious history both on-road and on the race track. To mark 100 years of our Suzuki company it was only fitting to adopt the retro-inspired livery of bikes that have achieved and contributed so much to our history,” said Suzuki GB’s head of motorcycles, Jonathan Martin.

It’s fantastic to see Suzuki celebrating its 100-year anniversary with a special bike like this. The motorcycle is a special machine and anyone who’s a GSX-R fan or a sportbike fan, in general, should be pretty excited about this machine. It will be on sale in the UK next month.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Royal Enfield Himalayan Switches Off ABS

One of the few changes for the 2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan adventure motorcycle is the ability to switch off the ABS.

It may not seem like a big deal, but it is to the adventure rider who wants to be able to lock the wheels under braking to dig into the gravel, dirt, loam or sand surface for extra braking effect.

It’s a shame there isn’t the facility to just switch off the rear.

However, they say they have tweaked the rear brake for better feel and effect.

2021 Royal Enfield Himalayan

The other changes are the addition of three new colours — Lake Blue, Rock Red, and Gravel Grey – making a total of six colour choices. The existing colours are Granite Black, Snow White and Sleet Grey.

The Himalayan also now comes with a redesigned side stand and the engine is Euro5 compliant although they don’t say whether this has affected output.

There is no word on when these will arrive in Australia, price or whether all colours will be available.

Levi’s project

MV Agusta Stunt bikes

Meanwhile, Royal Enfield has joined with iconic American jeans manufacturer Levi’s to launch a range of lifestyle and riding gear, available online and in Royal Enfield and Levi’s stores in India.

Levi's & Royal Enfield

They say it is suitable for riding and daily wear and the Cordura denim includes some abrasion protection and pockets for armour inserts.

Levi's & Royal Enfield

The lifestyle collection includes jeans, jackets and graphic t-shirts designed by rider and artist Toria James.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

What Does It Take To Make A Stunt Bike?

If you’ve ever thought of turning your bike into stunt machine, MV Agusta has a good example of what might be required.

The Italian company enlists French stunt rider Thibaut Nogues to ride two special bikes in live shows in motorcycle exhibitions and fairs around Europe.

MV Agusta Stunt bikes

They are a Freestyle Division Edition Brutale 800 RR and F3 800 in black grey and red.

The bikes’ special components include a steel protective crash cage, nylon crash inserts, a unique “non-slip” stand-up wheelie seat, a RAW SC-Project titanium exhaust, machined wheels, a reinforced rear swingarm developed and constructed in CRC, a hand-crafted oversize aluminium radiator, different final ratio and chain guards.

Additional components include a dedicated ECU map, full Öhlins suspension as well as an STM clutch for drifting performance.

The final touches include front fork triple-clamps with a different offset, a rear brake lever on the handlebar, additional rear brake calipers and a special rear brake pedal. Completing the modifications are the CNC machined passenger pegs.

Younger audience

Thibaut helps MV reach out to a new and younger audience than the traditional mature-aged buyer.

MV boss Timur Sardarov says Thibaut’s stunts have “contributed to raising the awareness of our brand among younger riders worldwide”.

Thibaut has a very active social media account where he posts his adrenaline-packed videos that attract hundreds of thousands of views in more than 55 countries, plus 1.5 million web contacts each month.

MV Agusta Stunt bikes

He participated in more than 20 events last year for the MV Agusta Freestyle Team, ranging from MotoGP and Superbike rounds, to the opening of new showrooms, Stunt and  Drift competitions, and fairs and exhibitions.

“I’ve been a Freestyle rider for 10 years, and I worked hard at developing and expressing an individual, classy riding style,” Thibaut says.

MV Agusta Stunt bikes

“I think it made a difference. Being a freestyle rider for MV Agusta gives me the opportunity to fully realize this aspiration. It’s like a dream.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Suzuki Slashes Katana Price & Adds Value

Suzuki Motorcycle Australia has slashed $3000 off the price of its revived Katana and introduced two value accessory packs to help the model which has failed to make a showroom impact.

While it’s a great bike to ride, the styling has divided opinions and the bike has failed to live up to its exhilarating forebears.

It arrived this time last year at $18,990 (ride away with 12 months’ rego), but now costs just $15,990.

Suzuki Katana

To further boost interest, Suzuki has added two value cosmetic accessory packs.

The $1499 Shogun Pack brings the ride away price up to $17,749. It consists of: Two-tone seat, smoked visor, front and rear axle sliders, body decals and carbon fibre front fender, clutch cover, starter cover and alternator cover.

Suzuki Katana

Tom Cruise stunt

The $595 Samurai Pack lifts the price to $16,845 and includes: Two-tone seat, smoked visor, carbon-design tank pad and side protection decals, plus body and rim decals.

Suzuki Katana

You can “build your own” Katana on the official website and clicking on the ‘Build Your Bike’ feature.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com