Bike Nite In The Daylite Returns To Daytona Bike Week

Bike Nite In The Daylite Returns To Daytona Bike Week

Bike Nite in the Daylite, now in its sixth year, returns again to  Daytona BikeWeek for 2015. The event will be held from 11:00am – 4:00pm, and show entrants have the opportunity to win prizes from a number of event sponsors. Kawasaki owners and enthusiasts are invited to hang out in the Kawasaki display area at Daytona International Speedway.

You can enter your own Kawasaki motorcycle into the bike show or enjoy event activities including charity raffles, and complimentary beverages provided by Riders of Kawasaki (ROK). Voting will end at 2:30pm and the winners will be announced at 3:00pm.

Judging categories for the event will include Best Kawasaki Sportbike, Best Kawasaki Cruiser, Best Unique Bike and Best Vintage Kawasaki (1984 and prior). A People’s Choice winner will be selected in each category and will be awarded prizes from ROK, Sena Technologies and Kawasaki Genuine Accessories. The winner in each category will also take home a custom trophy made from Kawasaki motorcycle parts and have the chance to win the coveted title of “Best in Show,” plus prizes from Dunlop, Sena Technologies and olloclip, to name a few.

Official contest rules are posted here:

Even if you don’t own a special Kawasaki, be sure to visit and enjoy the atmosphere, see some great bikes, and take a Kawasaki demo ride on the street bike of your choice. Enter the raffle and you might win some great prizes in support of a good cause. Raffle tickets are $1 each and all proceeds will be donated to the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory Hospital in memory of long-time Kawasaki friend, Mike Thomas.

(The photo above is of 2014 Bike Nite in the Daylite’s “Best in Show” and “Best Unique Bike” winner, Billy Ray Bryant and his 1977 KZ Dragster.)
                                                                                                                                 Source: cycleworld

New Bikes And Tours For Compass Expeditions

New Bikes And Tours For Compass Expeditions
Compass Expeditions, the world’s only motorcycle tour company to be included in National Geographic’s “Top 50 tours of a lifetime” list, has added to its fleet of South American bikes BMW’s F800GS, R1200GS, as well as an F700GS with lowered suspension.

“As one of the only international motorcycle tour companies that own their own motorbikes in South America, we felt that it was important to offer a variety of bike sizes for our clients,” says Mick McDonald, founder of Compass. “For the taller riders the F800GS with its much taller seat height works really well and handles the dirt sections comfortably. For those wishing for a bit more power or perhaps riding two-up we have the R1200GS with comfortable seating for a pillion. The lowered suspension on the F700GS, with its 765mm seat height, is especially popular with female riders, but is available for anyone.”

The new, larger bikes are available upon request for an upgraded price for all 2015 and 2016 South America tours. To learn more about Compass Expeditions and its tour dates visit

                                                                                                                                         Source: cycleworld

2015 Yamaha WR250F First Ride

2015 Yamaha WR250F First Ride

 The WR250F was long overdue for a change and Yamaha not only completely revamped the WR for 2015, it added another exciting model to its lineup in the YZ250FX (read more in the 2015 YZ250FX First Ride). But where the FX is a true off-road, closed-course race bike, the 2015 WR250F is a fuel-injected trail bike that just happens to be able to morph into a bike very similar to the new YZ250FX.

 The exciting all-new Yamaha WR250F shares nothing with the old carbureted WR, it is now based on the YZ250F motocross bike, utilizing the rearward slant engine, bilateral beam frame, KYB suspension and YZ body styling. The all-new WR250F is adorned in off-road necessities like a six-speed transmission, headlight, taillight, 18-inch rear wheel, skid plate, quiet muffler, enduro computer, tool-less air filter access and, of course, electric start. To better suit off-road riding, the YZ250F motocross KYB suspension spring rates are changed (4.7 N/mm in the front to 4.4 N/mm and 56 N/mm in the rear to 54 N/mm) as is the valving. Sharing almost everything with the motocross YZ250F and the new off-road YZ250FX, the WR250F uses fuel injection, differently mapped to meet with EPA and green sticker regulations. Can you say hassle free high-altitude riding? 
 Thanks to the electric start, firing up the WR250F is pretty easy, but it comes to life quicker when in neutral. This slight hesitation in starting can be fixed with a more powerful and lighter aftermarket battery. Lithium-ion batteries spin the starter faster and the bike fires up easier. There is no longer an ignition switch on the WR, just hit the starter button and go. If for some reason the battery is low or dead, there is a reliable kickstarter backup. Yamaha always goes the conservative route when it comes to the EPA regulations and making a green sticker-legal complainant machine (green sticker registration is required for California). The 2015 WR250F comes with a throttle stop, a small sound reducer in the already minuscule muffler outlet and an intake snorkel, all to fall well within the parameters of a legal trail bike. We removed these items, which improves the power but still keeps the WR250F perfectly legal. You cannot change the ECU on the WR with the GYTR power tuner, it is locked as part of the compliance with green sticker legality. If you want the power and tuning of the YZ250FX you can get an ECU through GYTR, but you no longer have a green sticker-legal machine. 

On the trail the lean tuning of the engine, mixed with a lot of exhaust restriction is felt mostly in the lower rpm. The WR250F has decent torque and is quite capable of lugging through technical terrain but it requires covering the clutch and careful attention to not let the rpm drop too close to the already low idle where the lean mixture can cause flame out. Proper technique rewards decent traction at slow speeds but it isn’t beginner-friendly power delivery in technical terrain. Get into the mid and higher rpm and the WR250F is much happier, delivering exciting power that has surprising overrev. Chopping the throttle from higher rpm and then getting back on the gas quickly sometimes reveals a small hesitation thanks to the lean mixture. The lean characteristics are livable, once accustomed to them, especially by more experienced riders. 

 This is a trail bike and Yamaha’s suspension changes to the WR250F work well. It is nice and calm over rocks, roots, chatter and G-outs. If you want one word for the suspension it is plush. A bonus is that the KYB suspension handles G-outs and resists bottoming surprisingly well given its ability to soak up rough terrain and remain plush. Compliant suspension and a great chassis allows all day rides in comfort on the WR. Having an 18-inch wheel helps absorb sharp hits and the sidewall flex increases traction. With suspension softer than a motocross bike and extra weight from the off-road necessities, the WR250F gets a bit of a wallow feel at very high speeds. The WR has a tendency to dive coming into corners at speed and when negotiating steep down hills. When the WR250F gets out of line, the reminder that it weighs 258 pounds and is a trail bike comes quickly. 

 The WR250F is a front steering bike and the front wheel feels anchored to the ground. Flinging the WR around on tight and technical trails is more work than the YZ250FX. At 258 pounds, it’s not exactly a featherweight. Part of the front wheel feeling so planted is the soft power delivery. In contrast, the YZ250FX feels much lighter in the front due to the responsive power and the ability to loft the front end with a twist of the throttle. The WR250F requires more planning and a stab of the clutch for significant front wheel lift. The Dunlop MX51 tires are decent but after going back to back with the YZ250FX, we prefer the Dunlop AT81 tires. 

 If you are an off-road trail rider at heart, the WR250F is the way to go at only $100 more ($7990) than the 2015 YZ250FX. The WR comes with a cooling fan, which is worth its weight in gold! While the headlight is minimal, the WR puts out strong electric power thanks to the EFI system (160-watt generator) so it can power an aftermarket headlight, increasing trail time fun into the night. We aren’t sure why the YZ250X doesn’t come with the skid plate found on the WR250F but it should, the plastic skid plate does a great job of protecting the frame and lower sides of the engine, plus it is easy to remove for oil changes. The WR enduro computer is easy to read and offers up speed, mileage and elapsed time. On the fence between the WR250F and YZ250FX? The WR250F is only an ECU and exhaust away from the same engine as the YZ250FX, pumping out the same exciting power. So if you want a trail bike with power like the YZ250FX it doesn’t require much, but keep in mind, once you change the ECU you are no longer EPA/Green sticker legal. The WR250F is a great trail bike with a racers heart lying in wait!

                                                                                                                                         Source: cycleworld

EBR 250 a step closer to European launch

EBR 250 a step closer to European launch

HERO'S HX250R will go on sale in India this October according to reports, a move which could signal the European launch next year.
The EBR-designed 249cc single looks impressive on paper, with a claimed 31hp and 19.2lbft. At the right price it could make tough competition for the likes of Honda’s 30hp CBR300R.
It was first unveiled in India a year ago. Hero then brought it to the Milan motorcycle show in November, where the firm announced its plans to sell bikes in Europe from next year.
The firm – the world's largest two-wheeler maker – has also applied to trademark the 'HX250R' name in Europe.
The bike is a joint venture with Erik Buell Racing, which Hero has owned a near 50% stake in since 2013. Visordown recently revealed how shipping documents suggested the HX250R prototypes were built in America by EBR.
Indian motoring websites are reporting that Hero sources say it will be launched over there this October, with a price equivalent to £2,150.
The sites also say it will have two power modes, with one reducing output to 24hp.
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                                                                                                                                         Source: cycleworld



Yamaha’s diminutive TW125 has become something of a cult classic in the world of custom motorcycles. It’s easy to see why: this humble farm bike exudes an honest charm that’s hard to ignore.
Dimitri Chaussinand certainly gets it. Despite owning a perfectly good Triumph Speed Triple, Dimitri (AKA Dinamax) decided to buy and customize a TW125. Simply because it’s cool.

“The Speed Triple is for the sensation of speed,” explains the architectural draughtsman, who lives in Lyon in France’s central Rhône-Alpes region. “But the TW125 is for going into to town to buy bread—in style!”
In style, yes—and on a budget too. The 2001-model donor was picked up for a mere $1,000, and Dimitri put it together it in the parking garage of his apartment building. “The space really isn’t great for work,” he says. “The lighting is rotten and there’s no electricity, but it’s funky.”

  His goal was simple: to build a no-nonsense street scrambler. “I wanted to do something neo-retro: with a classic fuel tank and a Japanese-style extended swingarm.”
A Yamaha DTMX tank fit the bill perfectly, so Dimitri sourced one and sent it off toAeroskoal for paint. He also had the wheels and forks blacked-out for a stealthier vibe.

  Out back, Dimitri bolted on a longer swingarm ordered from a Japanese supplier. He then trimmed the frame and fitted a custom-made leather seat.
Underneath the seat, the airbox was dumped for a K&N filter and the battery relocated to a new box. The exhaust was shortened, and now terminates in a mini muffler. It pokes out just below a nifty little splash guard that Dimitri fitted.

He enlisted some help from Lyon-based specialists along the way. Mondial Moto overhauled the engine, cleaned out the carbs and sorted out the wiring, while PBSC helped out on welding work.
The lights, turn signals and speedo were all ordered from Japan. And that gorgeous littletool roll hanging off the side of the bike is from the Wrenchmonkees x Sandqvist collection.

 Dimitri’s TW is as quirky and loveable as they come. There are not many bikes we’d choose over a Speed Triple, but for a quick dash to the shops, this little TW125 is justparfait.
                                                                                                                                 Source: cycleworld

Adventure R – a superbike for the dirt

Adventure R – a superbike for the dirt
  KTM's Adventure 1198 R is probably the most extreme adventure motorcycle you can buy. At 148 horsepower, it's considerably more powerful than anything else in the big enduro market, and at 230 kg (507 lbs) with a tank of fuel, it's actually quite light for a big-bore adventure bike. Make no mistake though, it's an intimidating ride.

I've managed to lose a couple of kilos over the Christmas break, and I can't credit my self control. Indeed, I hoovered up every morsel I could get my hands on at a typically decadent family Christmas get-together. So I suspect thanks must go to the giant KTM I was given to review over the break.

As a complete numpty on the dirt, it was certainly an eye-opening experience to take my baby steps on arguably the most extreme adventure bike in the category – the KTM 1190 Adventure R. At 148 horsepower, significantly more powerful than anything on the market (barring KTM's own upcoming 1290 Adventure), the Adventure R is a big bike and a physical ride – and hence a pretty good workout to burn off an abundance of Christmas pork.

It's the most dirt-focused of all the big Adventure machines, with 21 and 18-inch spoked wheels and chunky knobby tires as standard. It's also KTM's technology flagship, with the 2015 model sporting lean-angle sensitive traction control and Cornering ABS.

As a novice dirt rider, on an expert level rocketship, I terrified myself through more than 1000 kilometers on a brand new test bike, with at least 400 on the dirt, to put together this review video. Enjoy!
                                                                                                                                Source: cycleworld

2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S First Ride

2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S First Ride
   Staring at the three 2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S models inside the Santa Barbara Art Foundry presents a conundrum. The first Vulcan S in Pearl Crystal White has been set up with the “Reduced Reach” seat and footpeg location, compacting the rider’s triangle for people of smaller stature. I squeeze my six-foot-frame into the saddle, but my knees are up, feet are in, and the bars are way too close for my liking. The middle Vulcan S is shod in Kawasaki Green with its bars, seat and pegs in the “Mid Reach” arrangement. My legs now have a bit more room to stretch but my knees are still up and in and the reach to the bars is more natural but the bend of my elbows doesn’t quite feel right. The final Vulcan S, coated in Ebony Black paint, has the “Extended Reach” configuration which pushes the seat back one inch and places the handlebars out an inch further. My back is now almost vertical in relation to the motorcycle, arms at a natural, relaxed position, feet comfortably forward. Just right.

   This ability to tailor the 2015 Vulcan S ergonomics to rider preferences is a strong selling point of Kawasaki’s new entry-level motorcycle. This is accomplished by offering the base package with two handlebar options, three seat options and three footpeg positions. Kawasaki wants the bike to fit a wide range of riders, reasoning that if a person is comfortable on a bike that fits them properly, they will feel confident when riding. Kawasaki says 700 dealerships have already committed to displaying an Ergo-Fit Center inside showrooms, where they can demonstrate the bike's ergonomic versatility.

The Vulcan S's upright, open riding position definitely feels cruiser-like. Long and low, it’s got a cruiser stance, from its teardrop-shaped tank to relatively small fenders hugging the tires. But after a 150-mile hustle through the hills above Santa Barbara, cruiser illusions dissolve, left in the wake of the Vulcan's peppy 649cc Parallel Twin and its point-and-shoot handling.

  Kawasaki cited many reasons for sourcing the Parallel Twin from the Ninja 650 for the Vulcan S. Paramount was the motorcycle’s intended market. Lead engineer on the project, Yoshifumi Mano, said in the beginning, a V-Twin engine was one of the options they considered but was crossed off the list because it is a heavier engine that’s not as easy to manage. Kawasaki felt the Parallel Twin was a more appropriate choice for entry-level riders, the power more manageable and the engine itself slimmer and lighter. Kawasaki focus groups revealed the engine size and type weren't the foremost concerns of the Vulcan's target audience, which didn’t have strong preconceived notions of what a cruiser should be.

   But the Parallel Twins in the Vulcan S and Ninja 650 are far from carbon copies. Kawasaki switched up the camshaft profiles, shortening the duration and reducing valve lift. Fluted intake ports improve low/midrange response, and the air box has 30mm-longer intake funnels. Kawasaki also used a heavier flywheel with 28% more mass. Additionally, the exhaust header uses dual-wall construction, and though outwardly it looks nice and thick, internally it is narrower in an effort to provide more low- and midrange grunt. Kawasaki also claims the 649cc liquid-cooled Parallel Twin gets 3-5% better fuel economy, something we couldn’t validate because after only running through one tank of gas during our ride. But if the horsepower and torque charts Kawasaki showed us are correct, the Parallel Twin in the Vulcan S has a better punch down low and meatier midrange compared to the other Kawasakis that share the same engine, the 2015 Versys 650 and Ninja 650.

Thumb the bike’s electric starter and a mellow, EPA-friendly note taps out of the underslung exhaust. Clutch pull is light and the transmission notches into first gear smoothly. The engine has a crankshaft-driven counter-balancer but there’s still a bit of a buzz at idle, but it quickly dissipates with a twist of the throttle. Release the clutch lever and the Vulcan S doesn’t have that arm-wrenching surge of torque of a V-Twin as the powerband is more evenly distributed throughout the rev range. Don’t get me wrong, as there is plenty of power available from the get-go, it’s just delivered smoother and is more manageable, exactly as Kawasaki intended it to be. In lower gears, the bike’s a little buzzy in the bars around 2500-3000 rpm and fueling is a bit choppy unless you open the throttle wide. Instead of the lumping cadence of a V-Twin, the engine is zippy with plenty of rev. Power delivery overall for the most part is smooth and linear, from a bottom end that kicks in around 2000 rpm up to its rev limit just below 10K. In 5th gear we found a useful top-end surge around 6500-7000 rpm and the wide range of power meant less shifting around town.

Slung between the tubes of a diamond-type frame, the location of the Parallel Twin places the motorcycle’s center of gravity low and slightly forward of the rider. A twin-spar frame was used in part to accommodate the downdraft air cleaner. It also allowed Kawasaki to route the pipe down under the footpegs. With the exhaust out of the way, teamed with the slim design of the Parallel Twin, the Vulcan S is narrow side-to-side and the seat tapers where it meets the tank so riders can easily place both feet flush on the ground. The chassis, with its D-section steel swingarm and rear subframe, also benefits the bike in the handling department.

We hustled up the hills above Santa Barbara and handling on the Vulcan S is a bright spot. Steering is pleasingly light and its relatively low COG equates to quick, fluid transitions. At lean, it tracks true and hugs its line, the tacky Dunlop Sportmax Radials providing a healthy amount of grip. The bike has more clearance than the standard cruiser and lean angles are generous, but when you do catch a peg it snags abruptly and hard instead of skimming smoothly across the pavement. Overall though, handling is intuitive and rider-friendly.

The stability of the front hinges on a capable Kayaba fork set at 31-degrees of rake. The 18-inch front hoop is only 120mm wide but remained composed and sure on the rough roads that ruled the second half of our ride. These roads also revealed the limitations of the back shock, a single Kayaba laydown unit with 3.15-inches of travel. My 225-pound frame taxed the limits of the rear shock on the bumpy stretches, compressing the shock fully as it used our lower back as a springboard. The shock has seven preload settings, but ours was only in a couple clicks and admittedly we didn’t dial it in. As is, we were hopping around in the seat at times on some of the choppier sections.

And while the rear shock could have used a little adjustment, we were quite pleased with the braking arrangement on the Vulcan S. The rotor on the front is good-sized at 300mm, stoppage provided by twin-piston Nissin calipers. The front doesn’t have an aggressive sportbike-like initial bite, but there’s plenty of feel at the lever and power is strong and even. The 250mm rear uses only a single-piston Nissin caliper, but the Vulcan S we tested benefits from Bosch 9.1M ABS. The anti-lock brakes take a pretty good stab to engage, and when the ABS does come on the pulsing sensation is light and tolerable. The Vulcan S doesn’t weigh much compared to production cruisers, tipping the scale just under 500 pounds, another reason it only requires a short distance to brake from 60-0.

Instrumentation on the Vulcan S is fairly Spartan, a solitary gauge residing between the bars. The gauge is divided into two parts, an analog tachometer on the top half and a small window on the bottom containing just the basics – speedometer, dual trip meters, odometer, and a clock. On the two small housings to each side of the speedo/tach are turn signals and indicator lights for neutral and high beam. There is an Eco-indicator visible in the digital display, a good way for new riders to gauge shift points and get the best gas mileage possible. Both the clutch and brake levers are five-way adjustable, another handy feature of the bike. We did find the gauge face to be a little below our line of sight, and wondered why a gear position indicator is a $259 addition instead of standard fare.

The 2015 Vulcan S blurs lines between sport and cruiser. It has a cruiser stance, cruiser ergos, and the fins of its cylinder heads are even cruiser-like, but its performance is definitely more sport-oriented. From its spunky engine to its light handling and capable binders, the Vulcan S can be ridden at a sporting pace. Kawasaki’s made it learner-friendly, from light lever action on a clutch that’s easy to modulate to a slick transmission with gears that ease into place. Throw in ergos that can be tailored to a rider’s size, little details like five-way adjustable levers and Eco-mode, and you’ve got a $7000 motorcycle that offers plenty at that price point and is fun to ride regardless of skill level.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Source: cycleworld

First whispers: new Suzuki GSX-R1000 coming?

First whispers: new Suzuki GSX-R1000 coming?

RUMOURS are emerging that Suzuki is set to reveal a new GSX-R1000 later this year.

Details are scarce but Visordown has been told that a major dealer is ‘changing the dynamic of his shop’ to make way for the new model.

According to a source, the new superbike is a 2016 model. He also said there would possibly be another smaller capacity bike planned for Suzuki’s line-up next year.

The source added: ‘Suzuki wants to be back at the top.’

The launch of the new model would tie in nicely with Suzuki’s return to MotoGP this year, with the inline-four-powered GSX-RR. It might even be a road-going derivative of that.

The GSX-R1000 has had no major upgrades since 2005 so there's no doubt it's due for one. This year sees it looking well and truly left behind by a new generation of 200hp superbikes, including the Yamaha R1, BMW S1000RR and Kawasaki Ninja H2, not to mention Ducati's 1299 Panigale and Honda's prototypeRC213V-S, which is expected to go on sale later this year at around £112,000.

Let's hope the new Gixer's a bit cheaper than that.

A Suzuki source told Visordown: 'Honestly no news on anything 2016 at present.'
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Bajaj’s spanking new Platina ES is India’s most fuel-efficient bike

Bajaj’s spanking new Platina ES is India’s most fuel-efficient bike

   The Bajaj Platina is the most affordable bike that the company offers in India and competes with the likes of the Hero Splendor and Hero Passion, amongst a few others. The bike has done reasonably well for Bajaj and is quite popular within the commuter class of bikes in the country. But with the competition hotting up, Bajaj decided to up the ante and make the rivals tremble in their boots by pulling out the ace among the cards of technical performance, aka fuel efficiency. The company claims an ARAI (The Automotive Research Association of India) claimed mileage for the 2015 Bajaj Platina ES of 96.9 kmpl, which is quite an amazing figure. No wonder Bajaj calls this bike as a ‘World’s Mileage Champion’.

The new Platina ES will also feature electric-start, apart from the usual kick-start. The powerplant on offer here is an all-new 102cc single-cylinder which incorporates Bajaj’s DTSi and ExhausTEC technology. This same motor is seen powering the Discover 100M, but on that bike, this motor generates 9 bhp and approximately 9.02 Nm of torque. On the Platina ES, though, the 102cc motor is pegged down a bit so it now develops 8 bhp and 8.7 Nm of torque.

In the matter of appearance, the Platina ES doesn’t look too different from the regular Platina, but Bajaj has given it a few extras such as a slightly reworked headlamps, new and brighter graphics, new body side panels and of course, a new exhaust pipe. In terms of price, the Platina ES will be available at Rs. 44,507 (ex-showroom, Delhi).



I've said it before, and I’ll say it again: Tires are the single biggest performance enhancement for any ADV motorcycle. By simply throwing on a set of knobby tires, the current breed of 1000-plus-cc adventure-tourers can become surprisingly off-road-capable in the right hands. But full-on knobbies have a very limited lifespan, so Continental has created a new tire called the TKC 70 that bridges the gap between its more street-oriented TrailAttack2 and the TKC 80 knobby. With off-road rubber developed specifically for heavy ADVs, it’s virtually impossible to find a high-traction tire that lasts a decent amount of time. Continental’s consumers wanted a tire somewhere between the TrailAttack2 and the TKC 80. And it’s these same consumers, says Conti, who resorted to running a TKC 80 on the front and a K60 Scout from competitor Heidenau on the rear because the TKC 80 rear would typically wear out twice as quickly as the front.

I recently learned how the right tire can transform a huge ADV machine from poser into performer. On a recent trip to Colorado for the Bonnier ADV Rally, Cycle World contributor Ryan Dudek (a Baja 1000 podium finisher) talked me into stopping at Moab, Utah, to ride its famous Slickrock trail—on a BMW R1200GS Adventure, no less. Anyone who has mountain biked or ridden this trail on an enduro can understand how gnarly it would be on a full-size ADV bike. Equipped with Conti’s TKC 80s, the bike survived, but it was harrowing. And on the wide range of terrain around Gunnison, Colorado, that we rode during the rally, many of the 4wd-only trails wouldn’t have been possible without those knobbies churning for traction in the decomposed granite, wet rocks, stream crossings, and roots. In the end, the GS and Dudek’s KTM 1190 Adventure R conquered more than any big bike has a right to. But by the time we got back to California with 2,600 miles under our belts, the rear TKCs on both machines were smoked.

Only a week later, I had the opportunity to ride the brand-new TKC 70 on road and off in the Welsh Midlands on a GS Adventure and a few other ADV bikes. Our first day was spent on asphalt, while the second was on graded dirt roads and forest two-track trails soaked by overnight rains.

The TKC 70 is unique because of its zero-degree, steel-belted radial construction (most chunky and knobby tires are bias-ply construction). Via temperature-controlled curing, Continental says it creates a harder more durable center tread and softer shoulder sections from a single rubber compound. The tread pattern is designed to provide good bite off road while clearing dirt and mud quickly.

Our first day provided a great opportunity to sample on-road grip, but also to get a feel for the tires in wet conditions after the heavens opened up and soaked the roads. In short, I was impressed with the TKC 70’s performance on the tarmac. The profile of the tires allowed every bike I sampled to handle as they would on stock rubber. Furthermore, despite fairly deep and chunky tread blocks, the tire never squirmed or felt unstable in any way when leaned over at a hot street pace. Road noise was barely perceptible, and wet weather grip proved to be excellent. On the narrow hedgerows, highways, and rough single-lane park roads—and on asphalt and concrete surfaces—grip remained predictable and good all day.

The following morning was even more telling, as we ventured out onto some forest dirt roads that must be used for the WRC Wales Rally GB. Surfaces ranged from damp and smooth graded roads to potholed, rocky two tracks with plenty of mud thrown in for good measure. On the fast, flowing gravel, grip from the front tire was predictable and easy to read, even under hard braking. Grip at the rear was almost too good, so I turned off the GS’s traction control to hang out the back end a bit and steer with the rear. It wasn’t until I hit a few very saturated muddy roads that I discovered the tire’s limitations and wished I had a knobby on the front. The front started to wander and required precise input at the bars to avoid tucking.

For the vast majority of off-highway travel, the TKC 70s are a perfect compromise for heavy ADV bikes that will spend more time on road than off. They offer far superior dirt grip than the TrailAttack2 while offering very similar traction on the road. Unless your route includes sand, mud, or very soft and/or rocky terrain, the TKC 70 is a wise choice because it’s designed to last a lot longer than a knobby. We plan to spoon a set onto ourlong-term BMW R1200GS Adventure soon. We also plan to try a hybrid setup running a TKC 80 on the front and TKC 70 on the rear, which I suspect will be the ideal pairing for the type of riding we do. We’d like to see if we double the mileage of a TKC 80 on the rear. The TKC 70 will be available in all of the popular adventure bike sizes. Fronts range in price from $105 to $175; rears cost from $195 to $240.

Source: cycleworld

RideApart Bike of the Week: 1990 Honda CB125 TT “RS”

RideApart Bike of the Week: 1990 Honda CB125 TT “RS”

The Brat custom movement originated in Japan (thanks to Brat Style) and has made an impact on custom bikes here in the U.S. for some time now. The team over at Steel Bent Customs in Oldsmar, Florida diced up this 1990 Honda CB125 TT into a clean and lust worthy Brat.t

Funny enough, this bike was found on the back of an RV traveling down the interstate in Florida. The team at SBC were intrigued by the unique twin-cylinder and mono-shock setup (something not normally found on a 125cc) that they had to get their hands on it.

Thankfully their decision to turn the bike into a Brat Style bike was the best one they could have made. Showcasing the two feature they loved most about the bike the best. The white and Bimmer “M”livery inspired stripes make viewers believe the bike is truly from a bespoke european shop opposed to the true Japanese motor it originated as.

While the bike certainly captured our attention it does come with a bit of a personal side we simply had to share. When the SBC crew decided to take on the rare bike as their project for the Scropio Show in St. Petersberg, FL they did so with notes from a dear friend they lost earlier this summer.

Ryan Shaw, the founder behind Hangar Cycle Works, was hanging out with the SBC crew talking about what would be their cornerstone build for the year and decided a small displacement, bare-bones, brat style bike was the way to go. So when SBC decided to go all-in on the rare RV Honda score, they immediately dedicated the bike to Ryan. Making this the SBC Honda 125 TT “RS”.

Visit our friends at The Bike Shed for even more bike details and the full story on this killer Brat!
Source: cycleworld

Honda Reports Q1 2014-2015 Sales Results

Honda Reports Q1 2014-2015 Sales Results

Honda reported sales of 4.137 million motorcycles over its first quarter ended June 30, 2014. That represents a 2.0% increase over the results of the same quarter the previous year, which doesn’t sound like much. But then you remember that 2.0% still represents an additional 83,000 motorcycles (including ATVs), such is the scale involved in a company like Honda.

In fact, that’s more than the 62,000 motorcycles Honda sold in North America that quarter, matching its result from the same quarter last year. Asia continues to represent the bulk of Honda’s motorcycle sales, accounting for 3.593 million units in the quarter, a year-over-year increase of 3.3%. More encouragingly, Honda reported a 15.3% increase in sales in Europe, with 60,000 units sold. The news was less positive in Japan where Honda’s motorcycle sales dropped to 48,000 from 52,000. Honda also took a hit in South America and Africa.

Motorcycle sales generated ¥407.7 billion (US$3.99 billion) in revenue, up 2.7% from last year. Operating income totaled ¥43.9 billion (US$430 million), increasing 3.3% over the previous year thanks to improved sales volume and volume mix.

Overall, Honda Motor Co. made a net profit of ¥146.5 billion (US$1.435 billion) over the first quarter, up from ¥122.3 billion reported last year.

For the rest of its 2014-2015 fiscal year, Honda is revising its forecasts to 18,080,000 motorcycles from the 18,240,000 motorcycles expected in its previous forecast. Most of the drop is expected for the Asian market as well as in South America and Africa. For North America, however, Honda has increased its sales forecast to 310,000 motorcycles from 300,000.
 Source: cycleworld

2015 Honda COTA 4RT260 Trials Bikes Announced

2015 Honda COTA 4RT260 Trials Bikes Announced
American Honda surprised almost everybody when it announced it would offer a trials bike earlier this year. The Repsol-colored 2014 Montesa Honda COTA 4RT was only offered in limited numbers for the U.S. market, but if you missed out on that initial batch, there’s good news, as Honda will again offer it in 2015, with some new updates.

Honda will offer two versions for 2015, a Repsol-edition COTA 4RT Race Replica and a base-model COTA 4RT260 in Honda red. Both versions share the same fuel-injected 259cc Single used in last year’s model. For 2015, Honda revised the fuel-injection and ignition map to improve traction and improve throttle control. Honda also reduced the effect of engine braking to give the 4RT a lighter feel.
For 2015, the trials bikes get a slimmer shift lever, a new 41-tooth final drive sprocket, a slimmer front fender and a black-finished on the triple clamp and handlebar.
The Race Replica version receives a new four-piston monobloc front brake caliper and competition-quality fully-adjustable Showa suspension. It also gets DID rims, Michelin tires, extra-wide aluminum pegs and a race-replica headlight. Carbon fiber is used for the fork guards, front fender brace/mount, clutch cover, head pipe heat shield and exhaust cover. And of course, it receives the Repsol graphics to resemble factory racer Toni Bou’s competition bike.

The 4RT260 also uses less-expensive four-piston calipers and a TECH fork and R16V Pro-Link rear shock instead of the pricier Showa components. Also helping keep the price low are the Morad rims and Dunlop tires. Unlike the Race Replica, the 4Rt260 does not have a headlight, but it does come with a removable seat with a bit of underseat storage.

The 4RT260 has a claimed curb weight of 163.7 pounds, making it a bit lighter than the Race Replica which claims a weight of 165.1 pounds (both factoring a full 0.5-gallon fuel tank).

“Trials riding is a very unique style of competition that’s spectacular to watch and incredibly difficult to do well,” says Lee Edmunds, manager of motorcycle marketing communications. “Last year we unveiled the COTA 4RT Race Replica, a hard-core bike made for national-level competition. That bike returns for 2015 with some important new features. The new COTA 4RT260 we’re introducing is designed and priced for riders entering the sport; those who compete at local and regional levels, rather than in national-level and pro events. Together, this pair allows trials riders to pick the one that best suits their tastes and budget.”

The 2015 Honda COTA 4RT Race Replica is priced at $9,499, an increase from last year’s $8,999 MSRP. The 4RT260 is a bit more affordable, coming it at $7,799. Expect both versions to arrive in showrooms in January.
 Source: cycleworld

Kawasaki Ninja Z250SL launched in Malaysia, but is it too late for India?

Kawasaki Ninja Z250SL launched in Malaysia, but is it too late for India?

 Kawasaki Ninja 250R was first introduced in 1983. This quarter-litre entry level sports motorcycle was a huge hit for Kawasaki. The Ninja 250R made its official debut in the Indian motorcycle market in 2008. The Japanese manufacturer recently replaced this 250cc model with a marginally bigger 300cc variant.

Now, the company has launched the naked, single-cylinder variant of the its 250cc entry level sports motorcycle, the Z250SL, in Malaysia at a price tag of 15,397 Malaysian Ringgi which comes up to a hefty Rs 2.9 lakh. Frankly speaking, this amount sounds horrendous given that KTM retails its 375cc single-cylinder powered 390 Duke with ABS for Rs 1.81 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)

The Z250SL is powered by a 250cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled fuel injected engine which produces 27.6 bhp of power and 22.6Nm of torque. This powermill is housed in a tubular steel with a diamond pattern chassis.

The Ninja Z250SL can be an ideal city motorcycle for people who like to travel in style. But, we feel Kawasaki should really work on that rather hefty price tag as, with that kind of money, people can opt for a much powerful KTM 390 Duke and still save enough money to buy fuel for months. Honda too plans to introduce a naked version of its 300cc motorcycle, CBR300R later this year.

So the question arises – should Kawasaki launch the Z250SL in the Indian market? We feel that Kawasaki might already have been a tad late to introduce this model in the Indian market. The most logical entry level motorcycle from Kawasaki should be the naked version of the company’s current road going Ninja 300. The company is already in plans to launch the naked version of the Ninja 650 as ER-6N which is expected to hit the Indian roads soon. Addition of a naked 300cc motorcycle will allow Kawasaki to attract more audience.

Which naked motorcycle would you like to buy? The 250cc single cylinder or the 300cc twin-cylinder. Share your thoughts through comments below.

Stay tuned into Motoroids for all the dope from the world of auto.
  Source: cycleworld

HMSI to Spread its Wings in India

HMSI to Spread its Wings in India
    HMSI is planning to spread its wings even further in India. As a part of an expansion programme, 1,000 customer touch points will be opened up all over India in this fiscal year.

      Customer touch points include dealerships, sub-dealerships and authorised service stations. Currently, HMSI has 1,950 such Customer Touch points spread all across India. An additional 1,000 this year will take the tally to about 3,000, boosting HMSI’s reach. Infact, HMSI has already established 150 of the planned 1,000 for this fiscal year.
HMSI’s aggressive pitch for its Indian expansion is not unheard of. After severing ties from their erstwhile partner Hero, HMSI has come out all guns blazing. Making their intentions clear, they added 800 customer touch points in the previous fiscal year. As they plan to tackle Hero MotoCorp head on, they realise that the key lies in sales volumes.
In addition, HMSI has to crack the Hinterland Code. Hero MotoCorp’s numero uno position is built around the successes of entry-level models of Splendor and Passion in India’s mofussils. HMSI has an answer to the duo of Passion-Splendor in the form of Dream Neo and Dream Yuga. But they probably are still second to Hero when it comes to a footprint in the rural areas.
   HMSI has a stronghold in the urban areas. The area that it needs to improve upon is its presence in rural areas. With this thing in mind, they have already announced the launch of a new model. The bike is christened CD 110 Dream and is tailormade to suit the needs of rural customers. These include a tough and durable suspension for carrying heavy loads, extended seating capacity and an exceptional fuel efficiency.
In addition, HMSI also has plans for increasing its share in the premium 150 cc segment. Reports suggest it is working on a new 160 cc bike to make up for the lacklustre sales accrued by CB Trigger and CB Unicorn Dazzler. You can read our earlier report here.
HMSI currently has a hold over 25% of the two-wheeler market share in India.
  Source: cycleworld



Harley-Davidson is known as The Motor Company, but nobody ever thought the name would be applied to an electric motorcycle.

 Meet the Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle, a research project into the viability of an electric two-wheeler for the bar-and-shield brand. Cycle World had the chance to see and touch the bike up close, and also got an opportunity to ride LiveWire on an abandoned runway in Southern California.

The machine we rode is one of two dozen or so demonstrator bikes that Harley-Davidson built for the Project LiveWire Experience (, an H-D dealer demo tour that will travel across the country through the end of the year and into Europe and Canada in 2015. Consumers will get to ride LiveWire and give Harley-Davidson feedback, allowing the company to evaluate consumer interest and decide if and how LiveWire would go into production.

 “We’re out there giving the customers an opportunity to really have greater input, and for us to glean information and use that for the future,” said Kirk Rasmussen, LiveWire Styling Manager.

 In recent years, Harley-Davidson has become more aggressive than ever in its efforts to involve customers in its product planning process. As with the Project Rushmore touring models and the Street 750 and 500, extensive market feedback was gathered during development to ensure that buyers are really getting what they want.

 “America at its best has always been about reinvention,” said Matt Levatich, President and Chief Operating Officer, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “And, like America, Harley-Davidson has reinvented itself many times in our history, with customers leading us every step of the way. Project LiveWire is another exciting, customer-led moment in our history.”

 So far, the history of the electric motorcycle has been a bumpy one. A few major motorcycle manufacturers have toed the waters with electrics, most notably the BMW with the C evolution scooter and KTM with its Freeride E light enduro. But of the startup companies currently producing electric motorcycles, Zero andBrammo have made the most progress. These companies lacked financial resources and the motorcycle-engineering experience and infrastructure to produce a machine that felt like a motorcycle that happened to be electric, so to speak. More recent production Zeros and Brammos we’ve tested are much closer to the mark, but none felt as polished and fully motorcycle-like as this prototype Harley-Davidson.
 “As you can see from the LiveWire demonstrator, it is highly refined,” said Chief Engineer Jeff Richlen. “Our engineering staff is a group of highly talented and technical people, so the resources that we have internally are certainly bigger than some of the others that are out there in the two-wheeled space. But it isn’t just about that, it’s about the innovation and the robust product-development process that we use for all of our products. This one happens to be a demonstrator, but it was built using the same fundamental principles that we use in all our bikes.”

 After seeing a few photos of the LiveWire prior to sitting on it in person, I expected it to be a bit larger. In fact, it’s quite compact, with a low seat height, an easy reach to the bars and a comfortable, standard-style seating position. It almost feels 7/8 scale compared to naked bikes like Ducati’s Monster. Although my time on this electric Harley was limited, with much of my riding fulfilling photo and video requirements, I was able to get a solid feel for the LiveWire and its performance.

 First impression? The bike I rode felt 100 percent production ready and didn’t resemble a cobbled-together prototype in any way. Fit, finish, and function were excellent, as you would expect from a machine that consumers are going to ride and judge. Not only that, but every detail—including the crinkle-finish one-piece cast aluminum frame and swingarm, the LED headlight, the trick CNC-milled billet-aluminum front turnsignal/mirror brackets, the TFT LED dash, and the delicate-looking wheels—is clean, stylish, and of high quality.

 Start up procedure goes like this: thumb the right bar-mounted rocker switch to On, which brings the display to life, then select one of two modes, either Range or Power, then hit the “start” button which activates the longitudinally mounted three-phase AC motor, which is rated at 74 horsepower and 52 pound-feet of peak torque. Twist the right grip (it’s not really a throttle), and you roll away. But, surprisingly, this doesn’t happen silently.

 “The sound that we’ve developed for this motorcycle is uniquely our own,” explains Richlen. “It is not silent. It’s far from it. It has a very distinct sound that is a result of the architecture we have chosen for the motor.”

The whine comes from the bevel gear that shifts the longitudinal motor’s output 90 degrees and sends it to the belt final drive.

 Of course, the very first thing I did was twist the accelerator WFO to get a sense of what is cooking underneath all of the bodywork and to hear the turbine-like wail in the cockpit. Harley says the LiveWire will hit 60 mph in less than four seconds, which feels spot-on. Compared to the last Zero SR we tested, the LiveWire feels quicker off the line, even smoking the rear tire on a couple of hard launches for the video camera. On the runway, I did a top-speed blast to an electronically limited peak of 95 mph. It wanted more.

 The most impressive element of the LiveWire riding experience is that it feels and functions like a “real” motorcycle (despite its clutchless transmission), something that Zero is just getting close to achieving after a decade. (Read the 2014 Zero SR riding impression.)

The upside-down Showa Big Piston fork and cantilever shock are fully adjustable and feel sportbike stiff without being harsh. The single disc, pin-slide, twin-piston front brake offered good power and feel, easily stopping the LiveWire. There is no ABS on the prototype.

Steering is neutral but a tad on the heavy side. Cornering clearance is good, but I dared not be too aggressive cornering on the extremely dusty airstrip surface. Harley-Davidson-branded Michelin tires in 120/70-18 front and 180/55-17 rear sizes should provide good grip on normal roads but had their work cut out for them on the dusty, broken-up runway’s surface.

Although I spent a fair amount of time on this new electric Harley prototype, I still can’t answer the three questions that largely define the success of a production electric vehicle: cost, range, and battery capacity. Because LiveWire isn’t production, cost is a question that can’t be answered. Harley didn’t share much information about the battery other than that it’s a lithium-ion unit that takes about 3 1/2 hours to charge with its Level 2, 220-volt input port. Based on the size of the bike and the area where the batteries reside, we’d say potential maximum capacity is likely in the 14-kWh range. But capacity and charging time were spec’d not by potential production needs, but rather by the demands of the demo tour and expected use in that specific environment.

 What I can tell you is this: The Harley-Davidson LiveWire prototype I rode had an indicated 30 miles of battery life left in “Range” mode when I started. After many, many photo passes, a top-speed run, and few full-throttle, drag-style launches in “Power” mode, it still had 15. And by my seat of the pants impressions, I’d say the straight-line performance of the LiveWire is on par with the very quick Zero SR.

 Overall, the LiveWire is an impressive exercise. As you would expect from a company that invests so much in finish quality, the materials, and component specifications, are very good. The aggressive, standard-like styling is surprisingly progressive and un-cruiser-like. And, even in “demonstrator” form, the Harley-Davidson LiveWire is the best electric motorcycle I’ve ridden.

 So, yes, as unlikely as it seems, Harley-Davidson has stepped way out of its comfort zone. How customers will react remains to be seen. But for a company that has so aggressively defended and fostered its distinctive engine sound and followed a very traditional path with its products, the LiveWire demonstrates a distinct shift for Harley—from cruiser builder to transportation producer.

Has “The Motor Company” taken on an entirely new meaning?
  Source: cycleworld