Two hours of supercharged madness

Kawasaki’s Ninja H2 is a world apart from Superbikes!

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When Kawasaki do something different with their sportsbikes you can bet it will be far reaching and a bit radical. First it was the GPZ range in the 80’s that pioneered the modern sportsbikes. That grew into the ZZR range, the ZX’s evolved and here we have the pinnacle of engineering in the shape of the Ninja H2.

We’ll be honest and say that when the H2 was first launched back in 2014, we weren’t bit fans of the looks, frankly we thought it was ugly – at that time. Well the looks haven’t changed that much but somehow it has grown on us. The H2’s aggressive angular looks now make sense and that was before riding it.

We only had two hours to get to grips with the supercharged beast provided by Kirkaldy Kawasaki. Two hours isn’t a lot of time on a bike especially one as different as the H2 so we got down to business and decided that we’d have a blast along some dual carriageway and then hit the real roads around Fife before going back into Kirkaldy.

Any bike can go well in a straight line and on a main road so we weren’t expecting too much on the first part of the ride but boy were we wrong. The H2 just wants to pull, pull and keep on pulling. Going up through the gears is as quick are clicking your fingers and in seconds you’re in 6th, the supercharger is winding up and screaming – man that sound! Other road users should have to pay for the entertainment of the sound an H2 makes passing them. The only way you could make this bike feel quicker and sound better would be to strap rockets to each side of it!

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The Vstrom family out on test

We took Suzuki’s Vsstrom (250, 650 and 1000) out for a run in Scotland. There bikes, same name but very different characters.

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Whether you want to call them Vstrom’s or by their proper name, the DL range doesn’t matter what Suzuki have brought to the market are a range of three very different bikes under that same banner attacking the Adventure sports market from the smaller capacity DL 250 up to the 650cc and 1000cc models.

They share the same name but that is about where the similarity ends. When you buy any one of these bikes it has its own unique character, you not just buying the same bike with a smaller or larger engine.

We took all three for a one day test in Scotland last month to see how they compared against each other. This is what we found. Read More…

Niken – two swords

Carving up the countryside on Yamaha’s NIKEN

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We’ve been running the press items from Yamaha since they announced the production of the Niken and its prototypes. A lot of the comments on social media would appear to have been a bit on the negative side with opinions, largely as expected, sticking firmly with the traditional two-wheels for a motorcycle, three-wheels is a trike idea.

We’d also been growing impatient wanting to get our hands on a Niken for testing so when the opportunity arose at the recent Scottish Motorcycle Festival at the Royal Highland Centre we jumped at the chance.

The Niken is without doubt one of the most striking machines to come off the Yamaha production line for some time. Yamaha have been promoting the Niken as a leaning multi-wheel (LMW) motorcycle, not a trike, and not a traditional bike. Yes it has three wheels but that’s about where any similarities with a trike end; it doesn’t feel like one, it doesn’t perform like one and you can’t ride it like one! It won’t stand up on its own, you will need a bike license and when you get to ride one you will realise why that is – in a very positive sense. Read More…

 

 

MV Agusta’s F3 800

The latest F3 800 from MV Agusta surprised us with its excellent handling and performance.

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It’s not long since we were in Italy testing MV Agusta’s Brutale 800RR so when the chance came to have their latest F3 800 for a week back in Scotland it was an opportunity too good to miss.

Amongst some groups of bikers the MV brand isn’t too well known but has been around since 1945 and as far as their sportsbikes and racing go they have been GP winners in the past including the prestigious Isle of Man, before quitting racing in 1976.

That racing heritage is having somewhat of a revival as MV are now back at the TT and are running bikes in championships around the world with riders like the always entertaining Jordi Torres in the World Superbike Championship, and Raffaele De Rosa (4 podiums in 2018) and Ayrton Badovini in the World Supersport Championship.

Sitting between the Superbike 1000cc and Supersport 600’s MV Agusta took the very popular F3 675 platform to developed a superb machine for riders looking for a bit more power but that is no slouch when compared to 1000cc bikes with a very well delivered 148hp available at your right wrist.

First impressions of the F3 800 are of a compact and light bike. Read more…

 

Royal Enfield launches the limited edition ‘Classic 500 Pegasus’

The ‘Pegasus’ is inspired by the legendary RE/WD Flying Flea 125 motorcycle that was manufactured at Royal Enfield’s underground facility in Westwood, UK during World War Two.

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Set up at the Imperial War Museum, bring in a classic Dakota and the Red Devils Parachute Display Team, that’s how you launch a motorcycle!

The oldest motorcycle brand in continuous production, Royal Enfield, launched the Classic 500 ‘Pegasus’ limited edition motorcycle. Conceived as a tribute to the Flying Flea and Royal Enfield’s military heritage, the Classic 500 Pegasus offers a chance to own a piece of motorcycle history with only 1,000 units available globally, of which 190 will be available in UK. The motorcycle will be available to be booked online from July and will be priced at GBP 4,999 (on the road).

Royal Enfield has a proud and enduring history of military manufacturing, as the motto ‘Made Like a Gun Since 1901’ suggests. Royal Enfield produced munitions, artillery equipment and motorcycles during both World Wars and supplies the Indian Armed Forces with motorcycles to the present day. Royal Enfield was called upon during World War One to supply motorcycles to the British Armed Forces and also for the Imperial Russian Government, and continues to make simple, authentic, classic motorcycles today. But by far its most storied wartime creation was the airborne troops’ ‘Flying Flea’, a compact and capable, two-stroke 125cc motorcycle that saw action in some of greatest battles of World War Two, including D-Day and Arnhem.

Conceived as a tribute to the Flying Flea and Royal Enfield’s military heritage, the Classic 500 Pegasus is a chance to own a piece of motorcycle history. Just 1,000 units will be made available: 190 on sale in UK and 810 for the rest of the world.

It’s a Classic 500 at heart and on a short demo ride with Russ Malkin (of Long Way Down, Long Way Round fame) it’s fair to say that we had an absolute blast on the backroads of Duxford.

We’ll bring you more on this latest bike from Royal Enfield and the history of the Flying Flea in our next issue out 1st June.

 

 

2018 NIKEN online reservation system is now live

Yamaha confirm NIKEN pricing and availability.

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The NIKEN will be available exclusively via an online reservation system that will go live on Wednesday 16th May at 18:00 GMT. Potential customers wishing to place an order for this new leaning multi-wheel Yamaha should log on to https://niken.yamaha-motor.eu and register their details.

Yamaha will notify all applicants within 3 working days if a unit has been allocated to them and if the registration has been accepted the customer will then receive confirmation of the supplying dealer as well as information on the next steps for the purchase and delivery of their new NIKEN.

Yamaha NIKEN: Ride the Revolution

Featuring twin leaning front wheels that deliver an unrivalled corner carving experience, the Yamaha NIKEN is the world’s first multi-wheel production motorcycle. Designed to open up new horizons for those forward-thinking riders who are looking for a whole new experience, the NIKEN is one of the most radical concepts to be seen within the world of motorcycling, and it embodies the start of a new era in machine control.

Sports bike performance with unique corner carving confidence

With the NIKEN, Yamaha introduces a whole new era in motorcycling – a riding revolution, offering a unique riding sensation that takes sport motorcycling into a new dimension.

Imagine the ability to carve through winding roads with unmatched confidence…a new feeling that could be compared to the thrilling experience when carving turns with skis. This revolutionary new kind of motorcycle feels, handles and looks like nothing else. At the same time as being different to a motorcycle, the NIKEN’s handling characteristics are also reassuringly familiar to riders.

The advanced Yamaha-exclusive technology used in the double leaning front wheel layout offers high levels of traction – making it a strong performer in corners, giving the NIKEN rider the ability to carve through winding roads with unmatched confidence. And two front wheels means there are two front tyres, so the levels of traction and braking are also like nothing else on the road!

Equipped with advanced leaning multi-wheel technology that enables a deep lean angle of up to 45 degrees – and featuring a radical body design that emphasises its unique and modern style – the NIKEN is a completely new kind of motorcycle that delivers special feelings of front-end grip, confidence and braking.

Driven by a toque-rich, 847cc, 3-cylinder crossplane engine housed in a sophisticated hybrid frame – and equipped with sophisticated electronic control technologies that enhance overall control – the Yamaha NIKEN looks, feels and rides like no other motorcycle.

Prepare for change. Ride the Revolution.

NIKEN price: The Recommended Retail Price of the NIKEN in the UK will be £13,499 including VAT. Please contact your local press officer for specific information.

NIKEN: The technology behind the revolution

  • Totally new concept in the motorcycle industry
  • Unique corner carving abilities
  • Special feelings of front end grip, confidence and braking
  • Radical design
  • Advanced leaning multi-wheel technology
  • Deep lean angle, maximum 45 degrees
  • Ackerman steering with double upside down front forks
  • Hybrid steel and cast aluminium frame with aluminium swingarm
  • Approximately 50:50 front-rear weight distribution with rider
  • 847cc, 3-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC CP3 engine
  • Special fuel injection settings and optimised crank balance
  • LED headlight and taillight
  • YZF-R1 derived mirrors with integrated LED turn signals
  • Dual 15-inch front wheels with 410 mm track; 17-inch rear wheel
  • YCC-T
  • D-MODE with 3 engine running modes
  • Cruise Control – operates above 50 km/h
  • Traction Control System with 2 modes, and off mode
  • A&S clutch for increased stability when downshifting
  • Quick Shift System for smoother upshifts
  • Compact instrument panel with LCD display
  • Aluminium 18-litre fuel tank
  • Fully adjustable rear suspension
  • Dual 298-mm front disc brakes and 282-mm rear disc brake
  • 12V DC power outlet

Genuine Accessories

Yamaha has developed a range of high quality Genuine Accessories designed specifically for riders who wish make their new NIKEN their very own. With its torque-rich engine, unrivalled cornering abilities and sophisticated electronic control technologies, the NIKEN is ready to deliver an exhilarating riding experience, and Yamaha’s range of sport-oriented accessories enable you to build a unique machine that suits your lifestyle.

The accessories range is constantly evolving, and currently includes everything from an Akrapovic system and sport seat through to a radiator protector, knuckle guards, titanium chain adjusters and more.

Availability & colour

Customers who place their online reservation at https://niken.yamaha-motor.eu from May 16th 2018 can expect delivery of their NIKEN to their supplying Yamaha dealer from September 2018 onwards. Yamaha will confirm final delivery dates with all customers during summer 2018, and will of course keep everyone fully informed of the final delivery dates.

NIKEN will be available in the colour option: Graphite (DNMG).

NIKEN Demo Tour

If riders want to experience the NIKEN’s unique riding experience and unrivalled corner carving abilities they will be given the opportunity to take a demo ride on this revolutionary motorcycle by coming along to the NIKEN Demo Tour. From June – October 2018 Yamaha will be visiting Europe’s riding hotspots with a fleet of NIKENs, enabling everyone to Ride the Revolution.

 

Story of a bike: 1972 Moto Guzzi 850 Eldorado

This 1972 first-year-model Moto Guzzi Eldorado (850cc) – matching frame and engine no. 51025 – was sent to the California Highway Patrol in Glendale, CA as a test bike in 1972.

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The story goes that one Pasadena native fell in love with the bike and was able to buy it (either from Moto Guzzi direct or the importer, Micheal Berliner, although unfortunately the paper record is lost.)

The second owner was one John Fisher of Brooklyn, New York who purchased the bike in around 2009 from the widow of that “original” CHiPs Officer.

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Get into gear with the KTM 125 Duke

According to KTM, the 125 DUKE is the best 125cc machine you can buy.

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The ultra-lightweight trellis frame and subframe provide razor-sharp control, while the new predatory-looking LED light mask opens the road ahead of you. Screaming high revs light up the TFT colour display, with several other informative functions that intensify the thrilling connection with the bike.

Now, when you purchase a 125 Duke you’ll also receive a £500 voucher to spend on official KTM PowerWear and PowerParts. Promotion is only available at participating KTM Dealers so make sure you head out early to check what’s on offer.
 
To top off this incredible offer our unbeatable KTM Finance packages mean you can get into gear on a 125 Duke for less than you think!
 
CLICK HERE to take a look at some of the prices.

Yamaha’s 2018 NIKEN

Key Features of Corner Carving on the Yamaha Niken

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Yamaha have released their third NIKEN technical video today. Having explained the multiple benefits of the unique Leaning Multi Wheel (LMW) concept in the previous video, this latest release focuses closely on the NIKEN’s many other key electronic aids, and how they contribute towards achieving the ultimate corner carving experience and more.

At the heart of this revolutionary motorcycle is Yamaha’s highly regarded 847cc CP3 engine that features a number of NIKEN exclusive specifications and settings. A key feature of this torque-rich crossplane concept engine is its YCC-T electronic throttle that gives a linear rider-throttle connection for precise engine controllability. In addition, YCC-T also enables the use of a range of electronic rider aids that enhance the overall sporty riding experience and give higher levels of control and confidence.

For smooth chassis behaviour when downshifting, the NIKEN features an A&S (Assist & Slipper) clutch, while a Quick Shift System (QSS) allows clutchless upshifting – and to control rear wheel spin there’s a Traction Control System (TCS) featuring two intervention modes as well as an OFF switch.

Furthermore, Yamaha’s electronic D-MODE offers three different riding modes that can be selected on the fly to suit rider preferences and different riding situations – and the Cruise Control can be engaged from 4th gear and over 50 km/h for more relaxed long distance trips and highway riding.

Equipped with compact LCD instrumentation and dual LED headlights that underline its sharp and revolutionary styling, the NIKEN’s sophisticated specification and range of electronic aids enable you to optimize the inherent advantages associated with the unique LMW system. No other motorcycle has the ability to deliver such high levels of control and confidence, together with an unrivalled corner carving experience.

As NIKEN is an exclusive new 3-wheel motorcycle – for which a high interest has been shown already – Yamaha will be opening an online ordering reservation system on 17 May 2018 at 10:00am CEST at http://niken.yamaha-motor.eu. Customers are requested to register their interest in NIKEN motorcycle via this reservation system and will be served on a first-come/first-served basis.

 

KTM 790 DUKE: The Scalpel is in dealers now

Known as The Scalpel, it’s the most agile and technically advanced street weapon for riders who prefer the undiluted and unique thrill of riding a naked motorcycle.

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For those who want to further sharpen their experience, a wide range of specially developed KTM PowerParts and KTM PowerWear is also available.

Developed alongside the KTM 790 DUKE from day one, the dedicated KTM PowerParts options allow customers to express themselves and intensify their motorcycle by enhancing and further personalizing their vision – whether it’s boosting performance, practicality or style.

Powered by the all-new LC8c engine, the new DUKE is KTM’s first parallel twin cylinder powerplant and its 799cc capacity punches out an impressive 105 hp and 87 Nm with relentless drive and smoothness from low rpm to the redline.

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