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Updated: 27 min 15 sec ago

Tips for the best motorcycle speakers

Tue, 18/04/2017 - 8:00am

Many riders are mixing their love of riding and music by wearing Bluetooth headsets in their helmets and now Bluetooth speakers are being added to bikes.

While we love riding to our favourite tracks, we are not big fans of speakers on motorcycles.

They tend to be inaudible above the wind noise at highway speeds or when wearing a full-face helmet.

They can also be embarrassing if you pull up at the traffic lights and the pedestrians catch you listening to The Carpenters’ Greatest Hits!

But some riders love them and many big touring bikes feature speakers.

Now Bluetooth technology is making it easier for riders to add speakers to smaller motorcycles.

YouthTune founder Erin Taylor says Bluetooth speakers mean there are no messy wires to hide.

Erin Taylor

“One of the bluetooth motorcycle speakers that come to mind is this product from Shark. It has a continuous power handling of about 65W and a maximum wattage of 150.

“The speakers are waterproof although the peripherals are not, so you have to cover them with some plastic.

Shark Bluetooth speakers

“You can also play songs through it using an SD card, flash drive, 3.5 mm compatible music devices, and Bluetooth.

“The downside of this product though is its short cables, especially for the remote. But that should not be much of a problem because it also comes with a wireless one.”

There are plenty of Bluetooth motorcycle speakers now on the market from as low as $100 with 600 watts of power, such as these from Boss. Just make sure if you put them on the handlebars they do not obscure the instruments or your controls.

She also suggests that if you are adding speakers to your motorcycle or upgrading the original speakers on your tourer, you should go “loud”.

“The best motorcycle speakers should have at least 300 watts RMS,” she says.

“The higher the wattage, the higher the possibility of having loud music with minimal distortion.”

Erin also recommends the speakers be waterproof, not just weatherproof.

She says space is also a problem with installing motorcycle speakers.

“One way you can save space is by choosing motorcycle speakers with a pre-loaded amp,” she says.

“Choose speakers that allow for portable devices as the audio source.”

Erin also suggests the speakers have controls which are easy to use and not a distraction when riding.

Another feature you can find is the docking station for your device. This will ensure your gadget doesn’t run out of juice while playing your favourite songs.”

The post Tips for the best motorcycle speakers appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Did the ‘anti-bikie’ laws really work?

Tue, 18/04/2017 - 6:00am

The tough, so-called anti-bikie VLAD laws in Queensland have not been the success the police claim they are, according to a crime expert.

Queensland Police formed the anti-bikie unit, Task Force Maxima, after the VLAD laws were introduced, giving them greater powers. The Task Force has so far seized $13 million in drugs.

That sounds like a lot, but former detective and now Bond Uni criminology lecturer Terry Goldsworthy says it is a drop in the ocean.

“Given that the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission estimate the drug market annually was $4.4 billion nationally in 2013-14, seizing $13 million over more than three years does not make for a big impact on organised crime,” he says.

“Rough sum suggests that $13 million would amount to less that 1% of the value of the drug market over the same time period.”

While the VLAD laws have since been slightly watered down, there is still a “fashion police” rule that bans “bikie colours” in public because they create fear.

No one has explained how such a ban will help fight organised crime!

Task Force changes

Meanwhile, Task Force Maxima continues, although it is now one of five units inside the new Organised Crime Gangs Group.

The changes follow the findings of a 2015 Commission of Inquiry that found the force was too bikies-focused under the Newman Government.

Terry has said all along that the fixation on bikies would be at the detriment of other crime groups and has now been proved correct.

So while “bikies” and some other motorcycle riders have been harassed by police and vilified by the public, the real kingpins of the drug trade have been ignored.

If you believe the VLAD laws didn’t affect innocent people, tell that to the librarian looked up for having drinks with a restive who was club member, or the Mt Isa man wrongfully arrested for wearing a Sons of Anarchy t-shirt, or the motorcycle mechanic strip-searched at the side of the road in front of a school.

These are just some of the abuses of police power that occurred after sloppy and discriminatory legislation was rushed through Parliament.

The post Did the ‘anti-bikie’ laws really work? appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Harley-Davidson set for rum customs

Mon, 17/04/2017 - 4:00pm

Harley-Davidson is creating 22 customised Sportsters with Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum “tattoo” artwork to celebrate their 115th anniversary in 2018.

In Australia, Harley seems more aligned with bourbon than rum.

However, Indian Motorcycles has already sewn up a partnership with Jack Daniels over the past two years.

That relationship has created limited-edition bikes which have sold out quickly; their last one sold out in a matter of minutes!

Indian Motorcycle Springfield and Chief Vintage Jack Daniels limited edition models

But instead of Harley producing limited-edition Sailor Jerry motorcycles for sale, it seems they are creating these bikes for promotional duties at motorcycle event and shows in the USA. they will then be up for grabs in a sweepstakes competition.

The bikes which will received the tattoo treatment are the Roadster (pictured top), 883 Iron and 48.

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum is not well known in Australia.

It was created to honour the father of American old-school tattooing, Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins who died in 1973, leaving behind a legacy of tattoo artwork.

Hawaii even hosts an annual Sailor Jerry Festival.

The customised Sportsters will be “tattooed” by American artists as well as Harley-Davidson artists and engineers.

The resulting custom bikes will be unveiled in a celebration at the Harley-Davidson Museum on May 2.

They will then move around the US over summer 2017 at liquor retailers, Sailor Jerry’s Fleet Week New York celebrations and other locations.

Americans will also be able to enter a sweepstakes from May 15 to win the 22 bikes by clicking here.

The post Harley-Davidson set for rum customs appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Can you love your motorcycle too much?

Mon, 17/04/2017 - 12:00pm

If you love your motorcycle so much you want to have sex with it, then you are a mechanophiliac. Don’t laugh. It’s real. And it’s illegal in some countries.

Brit Kevin Chapman, 33, is facing court  for allegedly attempting to have sex with a Suzuki GSX-R. It’s obviously a love-hate relationship as he was earlier seen punching and kicking the bike.

This follows the recent case of a Thai man, 26, arrested after CCTV footage showed him “having sex” with three motorcycles. One victim said her motorcycle was “raped” twice after the man cut a hole in the motorcycle seat.

Police said the man admitted assaulting the motorcycles because he was drunk and needed release. He was charged with damaging property and obscenity.

Similarly, the Brit claims he was drunk, dropped his trousers and was pushed on to the bike.

Look, we get it. Bikes can be very sexy.

Just look at the MV Agusta F4 with those lusty exhaust pipes!

MV Agusta F4

However, having sex with a motorcycle is treated as a crime in some nations.

For example, if found guilty, Mr Chapman could be placed on a sex-offenders’ register.

He has pleaded not guilty and will face trial on June 13.

In most countries sex with a motorcycle would be treated as indecent exposure if done in public.

So, by all means love your bike, but keep the garage door closed!

The post Can you love your motorcycle too much? appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

2017 KTM Adventure models arrive

Mon, 17/04/2017 - 6:00am

KTM Australia has announced pricing and arrival schedules for the new KTM Adventure 1090R, and Super Adventure 1290S and 1290R (pictured above).

Unveiled at the INTERMOT show in Cologne, the bikes will arrive here in the first week of May.

The road-biased Super Adventure 1290S will cost $23,995 (+ ORC ), while the off-road biased Super Adventure 1290R is $25,995 and the Adventure 1090R is $19,955.

KTM Australia Marketing Manager Greg Chambers says their main focus will be the Super Adventure 1290R and Adventure 1090R which replaces the 1050. They will not import the road-biased 1090.

Super Adventure models KTM 1290S Super Adventure

The Super Adventure range is powered by a 1301cc LC8 V-twin engine, but new expansion chambers are claimed to make it even more refined and have smoother power delivery.

Power is up just 1kW to 119kW and torque remains at 140Nm.

Both new Super Adventure models include the KTM/Bosch Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC) that combines lean angle sensors, ABS and traction control.

They also have tyre pressure monitors, cruise control, waterproof mobile phone pouch with USB port, keyless ignition, 3D foam seat, LED headlights and cornering lights, and a new large TFT display.

The S adds an Off-Road mode that adjusts traction control and deactivates ABS at the rear wheel, while the front ABS algorithm is modified for off-road riding. 

It also gets an 18-inch rear and 21-inch front wire spoke wheels with either Continental Trail Attack II or Continental TKC 80 enduro tyres.

The R has fully adjustable WP suspension and semi-active WP suspension with four damping modes.

KTM Adventure 1090R KTM Adventure 1090R

The KTM Adventure 1090 R is an updated version of the 1050 Adventure.

Even though it has the same LC8 1050cc V-Twin engine as the 1050 Adventure, the twin-spark 1090 models have 22kW more power at 93kW and 109Nm, up 2Nm, thanks to lightweight box pistons and various DLC-coated internals.

It comes with a slipper clutch, traction control, ABS, riding modes, twin-screen VDO dash with twin LCD screen and bar-mounted selection switch.

Riders will be able to adjust the handlebars, footpegs, levers and screens to suit different sized riders.

The KTM Adventure 1090R has 12 and 18-inch spoked wheels with knobby Continental TKC 80 Twinduro tyres.

Suspension includes 43mm upside down WP forks with 185mm of travel and a WP shock, adjustable for preload and rebound damping, with 190mm travel.

The post 2017 KTM Adventure models arrive appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

2017 BMW F 800 GS Adventure review

Sun, 16/04/2017 - 5:00pm

If we were really practical about our motorcycle choice, we would probably all be riding the BMW F 800 GS Adventure.

With its big 24-litre tank and go-anywhere capabilities, it is the ideal bike for Australia’s vast distances and rough roads and tracks. Yet it is also refined enough to be a canyon carver and weekday commuter.

At $21,500 you can ride away with one of the most practical and versatile bikes in the world. Actually, you can get a 2017-model bike built in 2016 for just $17,990 ride away if you are quick!

Next-gen F models

They are no doubt trying to clear all models before the rumoured 850cc or 900cc version arrives later this year to compete against the popular Honda Africa Twin.

Spy shot of next-generation F-model GS Adventure (Photo from MoreBikes.co.uk)

This spy photo from MoreBikes.co.uk shows it now has a conventional fuel tank, tubeless tyres, chain and exhaust swapped around, and LED headlights.

Our test bike

When I picked up the test bike from Motorline BMW at Springwood, Brisbane, the skies were blue and the roads were inviting!

But over the next week, the weather became deadly as Tropical Cyclone Debbie wreaked havoc across two states.

Yet the bold BMW met all challenges the terrain and weather could throw at it.

At first I headed for the hills to get myself used to the tall bike with its big front hoop.

I owned one of the first generation F 800 GS models and loved it. So it didn’t take long to get back into the feel of manhandling the F 800 GS Adventure into corners

Over Mt Tamborine a sportsbike loomed up behind me and I waved him through as we approached the twisting Goat Track. He shook his head and I knew “it’s on!” So I selected the sport setting on the electronic suspension adjustment and set off.

The test bike was shod with Continental TKC80 knobby tyres which had already done the last GS Safari, so they were not only inappropriate for these conditions, but also on the worn side.

My old F 800 GS had none of the electronic chicanery that the new models have, but I was glad of the ABS and traction control as I pushed to stay in front of the sportsbike rider.

On several occasions, the tyres squirmed, slid and wobbled as I braked hard into corners, leaned deeply and throttled hard out of the apex.

However, the electronics saved my bacon each time without any alarming or jerky feedback.

BMW really has the electronic rider aids well sorted these days.

At the end of the Goat Track, the sportsbike rider pulled up beside me and gave me a nod of appreciation. Job well done!

Clean and green 2017 BMW F 800 GS models

For 2017 the F 700 and F 800 GS range have cleaner engines to meet the tough new Euro 4 emissions, without any reduction in power or torque.

The bikes now come with an “electromotive throttle controller” that delivers a signal from a sensor on the throttle to the engine control system and the throttle valves.

This allows the expansion of the engine modes to Rain, Road, Enduro and Enduro Pro that control throttle response, ABS activation and traction control.

Rain and Road are standard on all models and Enduro and Enduro Pro are optional on the F 800 GS and GSA.

More importantly, it now has one of the smoothest throttles of any bike.

There is no jerk from idle which is a huge help when you are at the limits in a tight hairpin on the Goat Track!

The smooth fuelling also helps when you are caught in a tricky single-track situation and need precise throttle or when lane filtering through commuter traffic.

By the way, lane filtering is easy as the bike is slim, even though it has a fat bum with its underseat tank and wide bars. Those bars are so high they go over most car wing mirrors, but be aware of mirrors on pick-up trucks and SUVs.

Cyclone Debbie

The third day of my test, Debbie descended on Brisbane and unleashed a waterfall of rain.

So I put on my Draggin Hydro suit, selected the “Rain” mode on the F 800 GS Adventure and headed out into the maelstrom.

That precise and smooth fuelling, together with the traction control, ABS and Rain mode made riding on slippery roads very confidence inspiring, even with knobby tyres.

There was no occasion when I felt the bike was out of my control.

The deluge was short-lived, but the consequences stayed around for days, so I headed away from where the emergency services were active and ventured into the hills.

Even here there were dangers in the gravel and vegetation that had washed across the roads.

So I kept all the electronic controls in place.

Dirty work

I also found some crushed granite roads and trails to ride that were not rutted and gouged by the rains.

As much of the electronic aids were switched off as possible, but I ended up switching them all back on again. They work so well and adjust to the conditions, depending on the modes you select.

I also hooked up with a friend on an MV Agusta, so I again adjusted the suspension to the sport setting and did my best to hang on to his tail.

The F 800 GS Adventure even got in front of the MV on the rougher sections after I switched to the “comfort” suspension setting.

This is simply the most versatile and practical bike for every occasion. The only limiting factor here was the tyre choice.

Handsome F 800 GS Adventure

At a lunch stop, I noticed a guy looking at our parked bikes. I thought he was admiring my friend’s sexy MV parked next to the BMW, but he was actually interested in the F 800 GS Adventure.

“Looks nice,” he said.

That’s weird because I never considered any of the GS models to “look nice” (except the gorgeous R nineT Urban/GS). Maybe handsome in a rugged Micky Rourke sort of way, but certainly not nice.

However, I do love the milky grey paint which is nicely reflected in the new instruments.

New instruments

For 2017, BMW has added a few cosmetic garnishes, such as a new galvanised radiator trim and integrated GS emblem, a redesigned airbag cover and ignition lock and added a GS emblem to the windshield.

A couple of gripes

The only gripes I have about the F 800 GS Adventure are the heat from the engine and the low gearing.

My old F 800 GS poured a fair bit of heat on to my right thigh. A later model had a plastic shield inserted to stop this.

Now the bike spews even hotter air on to the lower legs and feet. If you wear high boots, it would be no problem, but I wore short airflow boots and it was uncomfortably hot, especially in slow trail and traffic conditions.

I suspect the extra heat is a result of the leaner burn to meet Euro 4 demands

It certainly helps fuel economy which was 3.9L/100km for my test which included some very hard accelerating. That’s ample range of up to 600km from a single tank!

As for the gearing, it is great for trail and traffic, but too low for highway riding.

At 100km/h in sixth gear it is buzzing at 4000 revs. In fact, that buzzing continues right throughout the rev range.

I’m not sure why as my old F 800 GS did not buzz like this, it also had TKC80 tyres and the gear ratios are exactly the same.

While it’s great on dirt roads, on the highway I was constantly reaching for that elusive seventh gear.

Verdict

The BMW F 800 GS Adventure really will take you anywhere you want to go with very few compromises, tyre choice aside.

However, only tall people should apply. I’m 185cm tall and I can’t get my feet flat down on the ground in the 890mm seat. You can get an optional 860mm seat, but that’s still very high.

BMW F 800 GS Adventure Price $21,500 (ride away) – $17,990 (ride away for a 2017 model built in 2016) Engine Water-cooled 4-stroke in-line two-cylinder engine, four valves per cylinder, two overhead camshafts, dry sump lubrication Bore x stroke 82mm x 75.6mm Capacity 798cc Rated output 63kW (85hp) at 7500rpm Max. torque 83Nm at 5750rpm Compression ratio 12.0 : 1 Mixture control / engine management Electronic intake pipe injection Emission control Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter / emission standard EU-3 Performance / fuel consumption Maximum speed 193km/h Fuel consumption per 100 km at constant 90km/h 4.3 l Fuel consumption per 100 km at constant 120km/h 5.7 l Fuel type Unleaded super, minimum octane rating 95 (RON); Electrical system Alternator three-phase alternator 400 W (rated power) Battery 12 V / 14 Ah, maintenance-free Power transmission Clutch Multiple-disc clutch in oil bath, mechanically operated Gearbox Constant mesh 6-speed gearbox integrated into crankcase Drive Endless O-ring chain with shock damping in rear wheel hub Chassis / brakes Frame Tubular steel space frame, load-bearing engine Front wheel location / suspension Upside-down telescopic fork, Ø 43mm Rear wheel location / suspension Cast aluminium dual swing arm, WAD strut (travel related damping), spring pre-load hydraulically adjustable, rebound damping adjustable Suspension travel front / rear 230mm / 215mm Wheelbase 1,578mm Castor 117mm Steering head angle 64° Wheels Wire spoke wheels Rim, front 2.15 x 21″ Rim, rear 4.25 x 17″ Tyres, front 90/90 – 21 54V Tyres, rear 150/70 – 17 69V Brake, front Dual disc, floating brake discs, diameter 300 mm, double-piston floating calipers Brake, rear Single disc, diameter 265 mm, single-piston floating caliper ABS BMW Motorrad ABS (disengageable) Dimensions / weights Length 2305mm Width (incl. mirrors) 925mm Height (excl. mirrors) 1450mm Seat height, unladen weight 890mm Inner leg curve, unladen weight 1960mm Unladen weight, road ready, fully fuelled 1) 232kg Permitted total weight 454kg Payload (with standard equipment) 222kg Usable tank volume 24l Reserve ca. 4,0 l

The post 2017 BMW F 800 GS Adventure review appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Honda drops price on CB500F

Sun, 16/04/2017 - 6:00am

Honda continues to drop its prices in the wake of an 18.1% drop in sales in the first quarter of 2017 with the latest being the 2017 model CB500F.

The learner-approved street fighter has arrived in dealerships at $7299, down $600 on last year’s model. It comes in Millennium Red/Graphite Black and Matte Gunpowder Black Metallic.

Honda CB500F

This follows Honda’s latest Red Sale with discounts on learner bikes, adventurers, sports bikes and farm ATVs and a February $500 discount on the CB300F as well as 2016-model CBR300R, CBR500R, CB500F, CBR1000RR and Special Edition Fireblade CBR1000SE.

Honda’s discount war over the past year is no doubt an effort to return to the top of the road bike sales after Harley-Davidson has repeatedly topped the list.

It’s a desperate measure from a company that has had few wins in recent years with new models.

Exceptions are the Africa Twin and the CB500 models. Yet both these models have also been discounted.

Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Are discounts good value?

While discounts are great for new buyers, they harm resale values for current owners.

Prestige brands such as BMW, Ducati and Harley-Davidson rarely discount their bikes, although they sometimes do deals with free accessories.

Consequently, they don’t undermine their resale values which creates a sense of loyalty and trust in their customers.

Business graduates will tell you that it is difficult to gain a new customer, easier to retain them, but most difficult to win back a disaffected customer.

Honda’s discount war seems a short-term strategy that may come back to bite it.

The post Honda drops price on CB500F appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Video: Rude bear on a Ducati Scrambler

Sat, 15/04/2017 - 6:41am

We just had to share this video of a rude bear on a Ducati Scrambler on a highway somewhere in the USA.

It’s an old video shot on August 10, 2015, so we suspect it was a promotional stunt.

The Scrambler was unveiled at the 2014 Intermot motorcycle show and sales began in the US in middle of 2015.

There are now seven model variants of the 803cc Scrambler – Classic, Urban Enduro, Icon, Flat Track Pro, Full Throttle, Desert Sled and Cafe Racer – plus a 399cc Sixty2 learner-approved model.

We don’t endorse riding bare like this bear. He should at least have a helmet on!

The post Video: Rude bear on a Ducati Scrambler appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Triumph Street Triple 765 RS review

Sat, 15/04/2017 - 6:00am

The Triumph Street Triple 765 RS allows the rider to dial in the insanity for a track day or tame the beast to become a civilised daily commuter.

Thanks to its suite of electronic aids and variable settings riders can customise their ride via a comprehensive onboard computer and instrument screen. All features can be accessed via controls on the left switchblock.

You can even change the way the instruments look with a bigger speed indicator or rev counter, or you can turn off the automatic indicators.

We’re not sure why you would ever want to turn off self-cancelling indicators, though. They are one of the most important safety devices. You can buy aftermarket Smart Turn Systems for any bike through our online shop.

The self-canceling indicators on the RS work extremely well and don’t stay on for too long after you’ve turned the corner.

Street Triple 765 range

The new Street Triple range has jumped from 675cc to 765cc, with a 660cc learner-legal model coming soon.

Prices are: $12,800 (plus on-road costs) for the S 660 LAMS model, $13,800 for the S, $15,850 for the R, $17,550 for the RS.

You can read about the various model features here.

Oliver’s Motorcycles has received the first Street Triple 765 models in Queensland and promptly put an RS on its demo fleet. We took it for a couple of hours of testing in traffic, highways and some twisting roads.

Feature-packed

It is amazing how many features Triumph has packed into these bikes.

Some of the cleverest and most useful features are not the hi-tech riding modes or electronic aids, but simple features like the hand-adjustable full-colour 5” TFT instruments that tilt so you can see them clearly without getting sun glare.

Another interesting feature is being able to switch off the headlights, leaving on the bright LED daytime running lights.

You can also quickly adjust by hand the front master brake cylinder pressure through three settings from normal to so light and touchy it will almost send you over the bars. That’s definitely one for the track.

While those Brembo M50 monobloc front brake callipers are suitable for track use, the rear brake is virally non-existent, lacking any feel or response. It doesn’t even aid in corner trail-braking.

Brembo brakes Triple treat

But it’s the engine that will attract buyers.

The Daytona-derived 765cc Street Triple engine has more than 80 new parts including an increased bore and stroke, new crank, pistons and Nikasil-plated aluminium barrels.

The flagship RS has 90kW of power at 11,700rpm, up 16%, and 13% more torque at 77Nm @ 10,800rpm.

The triple is an absolute delight with a smooth and robust midrange and a tingling high end that revs out to about 12,500rpm.

At 100km/h on the highway in sixth gear it tingles along at 5000 revs and will easily overtake vehicles with a simple roll-on of the throttle.

Bang it down a couple of gears and it will overtake in the blink of an eye.

It also as an awesome growl, although it won’t offend other road users as most of the noise is induction roar which seems directed at the rider, rather than exhaust noise.

Nimble handling

The RS also comes with fully adjustable Showa ’big-piston’ forks and Öhlins STX40 fully adjustable rear monoshock which are firm but sort out the sharper bumps.

It feels sure and steady, but also highly nimble.

I played around with the bike settings, which can only be adjusted when stationary.

There are five riding modes from Rain to Track. Around town I dialled in the rain mode, left on all the aids and softened the brake response.

It then became a tame and civilised commuter with a smooth throttle response and strong brakes with plenty of feel. In traffic, it flicks around lightly and is highly manoeuvrable.

However, the attractive bar-end mirrors are a bit wide for lane filtering. And because of the engine buzz, they are often blurred.

When you head for the hills and dial in the full power, it becomes super-sensitive and highly responsive.

You have to also dial in quicker thinking in your brain because the bike is so touchy to any rider inputs.

Even though they were brand new and still very shiny, the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres are grippy like velcro, providing plenty of confidence on a dry road.

Ergonomics

Riding position is aggressive without being uncomfortable. Rather than crouching and reaching for the bars, you are tilted toward the bars.

The seat is flat and firm, but it doesn’t become more uncomfortable with time in the saddle.

There is also a decent reach to the footpegs so you don’t have to be a flexible gymnast to rid the bike.

Light and quick transmission

The transmission has shorter first and second gears for increased acceleration, but you can also quickly flick through the gears, thanks to the super-light clutch. In traffic, that flexibility is handy.

The RS also gets a quick shifter, allowing clutchless upshifts up to 2.5 times quicker than manual shifting. Great for the track, but also handy for quick changes when needed in traffic

So while this might appear to be a canyon carver and track weapon, there is enough flexibility and adjustability on the bike to also be a daily commuter.

The RS has a colour-coded belly pan, colour-coded pillion seat cowl with interchangeable seat with details stitching and lower chain guard.

There is a range of more than 60 accessories selectable via their usual online configurator.

They include protection, styling equipment, quickshifter, Arrow exhausts and adjustable brake and clutch levers.

Triumph Street Triple RS
  • Price: $17,550 (plus on-road costs)
  • Engine: 765cc Liquid-cooled, 12v, inline triple
  • Power: 90kW @ 11,700rpm
  • Torque: 77Nm @ 10,800rpm
  • Frame: Aluminium twin spar
  • Fuel: 17.4 litres
  • Seat: 825mm
  • Weight: 166kg
  • Front suspension: 41mm Showa Big Piston forks fully adjustable
  • Rear suspension: Single Ohlins rear shock, fully adjustable
  • Front brake: 310mm dual discs with Brembo four-piston radial calliper
  • Rear brake: 220mm single disc with single-piston calliper
  • Tyres: 120/70 x 17; 180/55 x 17

The post Triumph Street Triple 765 RS review appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

BMW R 1200 GS tackles Finke Desert

Fri, 14/04/2017 - 5:00pm

Four new BMW R 1200 GS modes have arrived in Australia as the company announces its new Rallye version will compete in the Finke Desert Race in June.

BMW R 1200 GS Australian pricing (plus on-road costs):

BMW R 1200 GS $21,850 BMW R 1200 GS Rallye $23,050 BMW R 1200 GS Rallye X $27,250 BMW R 1200 GS Tour $27,250

 

Finke Desert challenge Miles Davis with a standard R 1200 GS and the new Rallye X

BMW Motorrad marketing manager Miles Davis will race the Rallye X over the 465km Finke Desert Race in June.

“After riding a pre-production version of the Rallye X in the two GS Safari events last year I knew it was a much more off-road focused bike,” he says.

“I came up with the idea of showcasing this by riding it in Finke and started to get excited about the idea. There are around 500 motorcycles entered in the 2017 event – it sold out in less than a day – and entrants generally ride lightweight 250cc to 500cc motocross machines, so riding a 200 kilogram-plus R 1200 GS is definitely going to be a bit different.”

Preparations are already in full swing, with Davis having completed a pre-run covering the Finke course on a locally-prepared R 1200 GS featuring the sports suspension package that will be standard on the Rallye X.

“The pre run went about as well as I could have hoped for,” added Davis. “It was tough physically and mentally, especially because I did both legs in one day.

“In these conditions it takes 100% concentration to pick the right speed for the different sections of whoops. I won’t really be treating it as a race, it’s an endurance test, so I just need to look after the bike and be as smooth as possible.”

The Finke will immediately be followed by a customer ride programme that will traverse the Simpson Desert’s 1100 sand dunes, running from Alice Springs to Birdsville via Mount Dare.

Read about the new GS Tours and Safaris.

2017 BMW R 1200 GS 2017 BMW R 1200 GS

For 2017, the R 1200 GS Boxer engine receives a new catalytic convertor and ECU to comply with the Euro 4 pollution requirements. Thankfully, power and torque are unchanged at 92kW and 125Nm.

 

It now comes with two Rain and Road riding modes and Automatic Stability Control as standard. Riders can add to the aids with the ex works option of RidingModes Pro with Dynamic and Dynamic Pro, Enduro and Enduro Pro as as well Dynamic Traction Control.

The Pro options are activated by a coded plug.

Riding Modes Pro adds set-off assistant Hill Start Control for convenient hill starts, ABS Pro that works when leaned over and dynamic brake light which draws more attention when braking hard.

Optional Dynamic Electronic Suspension Adjustment “Next Generation” has an automatic self-levelling function that adjusts for loads. The KTM R 1200 Super Adventure has a similar function.

It’s best for two-up riding as it prevents the pillion lurching forward and back and gives greater stability

The ex-works Rallye package has stiffer springs, longer spring struts and extended spring travel.

There are several other minor cosmetic and structural changes to the bike. They include modification to the knee area for better off-road riding, a slightly changed front mudguard, winglets to deflect air and newly designed intake and side fuel tank panel.

Only the GS geeks would notice the difference.

New styles and paint BMW R 1200 GS Rallye X

However, everyone will notice the new paint schemes and styles.

The Rallye and Rallye X come in Lupine Blue metallic paint with BMW Motorsport colours on the sides, a Cordoba Blue frame and black drivetrain.

Tour has Monolith metallic matt side panels, Iced Chocolate metallic front wheel splash guard and fuel tank cover, Agate Grey metallic matt frame, black drivetrain and gold-finished brake calipers.

2017 BMW R 1200 GS Tour

Restyled cooling air ducts and radiator trim elements now come with a galvanised surface or stainless steel on the Rallye and Exclusive packages.

R 1200 GS Rallye and Rallye X

They both feature a Rallye seat with ergonomic shaping for freedom of movement, radiator trim in robust stainless steel, radiator guard, wide enduro footrests and a special frame guard beside your boot to protect from scrape marks.

The Rallye X adds the Dynamic Package, Dynamic ESA electronic suspension adjustment, sports suspension, navigation preparation, cruise control, a low-cut sports windshield and cross-spoke wheels.

For solo riding, the luggage bridge and pillion footrests can be removed and neatly covered with caps that are included.

Rallye and Tour

The post BMW R 1200 GS tackles Finke Desert appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Ducati adventure training and treks

Fri, 14/04/2017 - 5:00am

Now that Ducati’s adventure range of Multistradas and Scramblers are their most popular sellers, they are offering adventure training courses and treks.

They call it Ducati Adventure Riding Experience (D-A-R-E) and it includes off-road training courses by Motor School and expeditions.

It sounds very much like what BMW has been doing with their GS Safaris and off-road training for the past couple of decades.

D-A-R-E training

The training program comes in beginner and advanced levels and will be offered in Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

There is no word yet on where they will be held, when or how much they will cost. But if you go to the website and register, they will send you details as they become available.

Riders will be able to use their own Ducati or hire a Multistrada, including the new 950, or the Scrambler Desert Sled or Urban Enduro. No other brand bikes will be allowed.

Ducati Desert Sled D-A-R-E treks

Ducati Australia is also launching D-A-R-E expeditions with treks ranging from two days to 10 days and an annual expedition. 

They will be fully supported with a 4WD truck as back-up.

They also plan a D-A-R-E hard-core expedition, also like BMW’s GS Safari Enduro.

However, on these treks, riders will be self-sufficient and unsupported.

Similarly, there are no details on where, when and how much for these adventures. You will have to register online.

Otherwise, stay tuned here for more updates.

The post Ducati adventure training and treks appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Revolutionary Vozz Helmets return to stores

Thu, 13/04/2017 - 4:00pm

Revolutionary Australian-designed Vozz Helmets which have no chin strap are returning to the shelves after a long hiatus for updates and European approval.

They still cost $888, but the new ECE 22.05 certified RS 1.0 helmets are claimed to be more comfortable, quieter with a more secure seal.

When we tested one early last year we found them too tight around the ears and there was wind noise from the hinges.

Read our review here.

Production suspended

In July 2016, Vozz Helmets managing director Mark Bryant told us they had suspended production in May while they updated the helmet.

He had hoped to have the improved helmets available in October 2016, but the first shipment has only just arrived.

However, Mark now hopes to increase production and distribution.

Improved features

Improvements include a new lining, aerodynamic foils on the locking covers on each side of the helmet, and “superior rubber compounds” to improve seal and minimise wind noise.

The revolutionary “safety release system” where the helmet opens like a clam shell remains.

Mark claims it makes it easier and safer to remove a helmet from an injured rider at the scene of a crash.

The opening system and the lack of a chin strap also means you can put on the helmet with your gloved hands and without having to take off your glasses.

Vozz Helmets now come with two more colour choices (gloss black, matte black, lime green, orange, red, blue, white and silver) in sizes XS to XXL.

Available in stores and online

They are available at 20 stores in Australia.

Mark is also selling the helmet online and has some outlets in Europe and North and South America, but is looking for more international outlets.

The helmets no longer require special Australian certification to be sold here after all states agreed to accept European ECE 22.05 certification.

The post Revolutionary Vozz Helmets return to stores appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Moto Guzzi V7 III plays catch-up

Thu, 13/04/2017 - 2:00pm

Moto Guzzi has gone into its third iteration of the modern V7 and added a limited edition Anniversario V7 III (pictured above) to celebrate 50 years of the range.

Australian importers PS Imports have announced that the Moto Guzzi V7 III will arrive in dealerships in June with very attractive price tags.

Indicative pricing at this stage is: V7 III Stone – $12,990; V7 III Special – $13,990; V7 III Racer – $16,490.

That’s as much as $1000 less than current price on the Stone and a $510 saving on the Special and Racer.

Chrome tank

The Anniversario and new V7 III models were unveiled at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan in November.

The limited edition model uses the same chassis and engine as the V7 Stone, Special and Racer but with new graphics, chrome fuel tank with their gold eagle logo, lockable billet aluminium fuel cap and a new leather seat.

It is likely to have already sold out.




//

The whole V7 III range has been updated for Euro 4 pollution compliance with new pistons heads and cylinder plus a new exhaust with double manifolds for better heat insulation.

The bottom end has a new crankshaft and sump, with a reworked ventilation system to reduce power loss due to the internal pumping of the crankcase chambers and a reduced capacity oil pump capable of absorbing less power.

Timing is controlled by a traditional system of pushrods and rockers with two valves per cylinder, now arranged in an inclined position.

Moto Guzzi V7 III Racer

Moto Guzzi says power is up 3kW to 38kW, but torque remains the same at a healthy 60Nm.

The Italian brand has fallen further behind other retro models such as the 900cc and 1200cc Triumph Bonnevilles and BMW R nineT, which both come with more power and torque and more equipment.

So all the updates are really about catching up with the herd while the V9 tackles them more head-on.

Meanwhile, the 2017 V9 Bobber and Roamer have longer and thicker seats, higher bars, and higher and farther back footpegs. All these updates are also available as accessories for existing 2016 models.

They also come with a lot more options such as fly and touring windscreens, racks, etc.

Moto Guzzi V7 III updates Moto Guzzi V7 III Special

The V7 III is now a more capable handler with steeper steering geometry, a reinforced headstock and new Kayaba twin shocks with preload adjustment.

Riders and pillions will find it more comfortable with a lower 769mm rider seat, lower and pillion pegs set lower and further forward.

The shaft-driven bike also has a new rear brake master-cylinder and the first and sixth gear ratio are changed for more acceleration but also an easier highway gait.

It now comes with two-stage traction control that can also be switched off. The system can be recalibrated for different tyre circumferences.

Moto Guzzi V7 III Stone

All V7 models come with the Moto Guzzi Media Platform that connects your smartphone to the bike via a dedicated app.

The Bluetooth connection allows you to use your phone to view speed, revs, instant power, instant torque, instant and average fuel consumption, average speed, battery voltage and acceleration. It’s also an extended trip computer.

The “Eco Ride” feature helps to reduce fuel consumption.

The post Moto Guzzi V7 III plays catch-up appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Boost for lightweight hub steering bike

Thu, 13/04/2017 - 12:00pm

Hub centre steering is set for a comeback after a Brisbane company received a $500,000 funding boost to develop their lightweight Motoinno T23 concept bike.

Motoinno stands for their branding company (Motorcycle Innovation) and TS3 for their innovative Triangulated Steering and Suspension System.

It was invented by film animator and self-taught engineer Ray Van Steenwyk who animated the toxic storm scene in the “Mad Max 4: Fury Road” movie.

Hub centre steering has been around since 1910 and is characterised by the steering pivot points being inside the wheel hub.

Ray claims his hub centre steering, together with his unique suspension system, makes riding safer as it separates steering, braking and suspension functions.

He says conventional fork steering creates more problems than benefits, predominantly oscillation harmonics which can cause weaving when you back off the throttle; a major cause of low-speed crashes.

Hub steering benefits

The benefits of Ray’s TS3 are claimed to be:

  • it is stronger, lighter and costs about the same as upside down or conventional forks;
  • it is more stable as it cancels oscillation harmonics by eliminating the high stress load on the hub-centre king-pin;
  • it has a tight turning circle of 54 degrees compared with sports bikes of about 38 degrees;
  • it doesn’t have horizontal or lateral flex like standard forks;
  • the steering geometry doesn’t change when the front dives under heavy braking; and
  • the rider can totally dial out brake dive, or even dial in front lift under braking.

Ray says that in track testing at Norwell and Mt Cotton facilities by numerous riders, the bike was considered more stable, turned in quicker and could not be upset by braking, sudden acceleration or change of direction, even in the middle of a corner.

Revolution in safety

Motorcycle Innovation CEO Colin Oddy says these promising results signal the beginning of a “genuine revolution in motorcycle safety and performance”.  

Colin OPddy (left) and Ray Van Steenwyk with their Motoinno TS3

“We’re now in the process of designing, building and testing an all-new MotoinnoTS3 Shockwave model, employing a more powerful and more sophisticated power plant,” he says.  

“This bespoke, high-end luxury road bike is based on the Ducati 1198cc Testastretta 11º engine – but that’s where the similarity to any other motorcycle starts and ends.”

Future TS3 prototype

The project has been given an injection of $250,000 in funds from private Queensland investor ACAC Innovation, plus a matching $250,000 grant from the Queensland Government through its Ignite Ideas Fund.

?The Shockwave concept bike will feature front and rear swingarms made of carbon composites, plus high-end metals designed to strengthen and lighten the motorcycle’s weight to around 110kg.

“That’s getting on for half the weight of the model from which the engine is derived,” Ray says.   

“With unique styling and patented componentry, the Motoinno Shockwave will set new standards in handling and braking, as well as in power-to-weight ratios for motorcycles.”

Moto2 racing

Motorcycle Innovation plans to test its design in Moto2 racing.

The Moto2 test prototype will be track-tested in Australia late in 2017, before being transported to Spain for testing in the European CEV competition of 2018.

Ray tests the TS3

When we first viewed the concept bike in June 2015, Ray and Colin said they wanted to produce their bikes in Australia using local engineers, technicians and component manufacturers, without resorting to having parts made cheaply overseas.

Ray says that if his design is taken up by motorcyclists and manufacturers, it would mean riders would have to un-learn old skill sets needed to ride around the inherent flaws of telescopics.

“We would rewrite the rider training manual,” he says.

The post Boost for lightweight hub steering bike appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Yamaha recalls triples over loose bars

Thu, 13/04/2017 - 7:20am

Yamaha is issuing a worldwide recall on several three-cylinder models over an issue with the lower handlebar possibly becoming loose.

The stud bolt threads might not have enough thread-locking agent applied to them due to the lower handlebar being improperly painted.

If the handlebar is struck hard enough, the paint on the handlebar holder might be damaged and could cause enough of a clearance difference on the stud bolt to allow it to become loose from engine vibration.

Affected models are the 2015-2017 MT-09 Tracer (known as the FJ-09 in some markets), 2014-2017 MT-09 (known as the FZ-09 in some markets), and 2016-2017 XSR900 which was recently awarded a prestigious Red Dot Design Award.

Yamaha MT-09 Tracer

While the loose handlebar recall has been issued overseas, the official Australian recall has not been issued as Yamaha Motor Australia is preparing a list of model and/or VIN numbers for the affected vehicles.

We will add that list to this article when it becomes available.

It is expected that owners will be notified by Yamaha, but we publish these recalls in case the bike has been privately sold. In that case the manufacturer would have no record of the owner.

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS ON RECALLS

Recall notices are issued by the manufacturer through a voluntary industry code under the ACCC.

Despite hundreds of recalls by various automotive manufacturers, none has ever been mandatory.  All have been issued by the manufacturer.

While any recall is not good news for the manufacturer, it shows that they are largely diligent in fixing problems.

If you believe there is an endemic problem with your bike that should be recalled, contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502.

To check whether your motorcycle has been recalled, click on these sites:

• Australia

• USA

• UK

• New Zealand

• Canada

The post Yamaha recalls triples over loose bars appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

No charges in ambulance and bike crash

Thu, 13/04/2017 - 6:00am

Police investigations into a crash between a motorcycle and an ambulance that went through a red light have concluded with no charges laid for driver or rider.

The crash happened at a set of lights at 11am on September 28, 2016, in Vermont South, Melbourne, between a Victorian Ambulance Ford Territory and Karen Caruso on her 2015 Ducati 899.

The Major Crash Investigation Unit (MCIU) concluded that the ambulance travelled through a red traffic light, impacting Karen at 43kmh, throwing her 12m and the bike 17m down the road. 

Karen spent five months away from home in both The Alfred Hospital and rehab, and she faces further corrective surgery and continued rehab for some time.

Meanwhile, Ambulance Victoria insurance company, Zurich Insurance, has frozen the claim and is continuing to deny liability for the crash.

However, it has been reported that the ambulance did not come to a stop at the red signal before proceeding through the intersection where Karen was turning on a green signal.

Although emergency vehicles are not required by law to come to a complete stop before proceeding through a red light, they must “take reasonable care”.

Karen has little recollection of the incident apart from engaging first gear and watching traffic in preparation to move off, then waking up in the emergency department of The Alfred.

The following drawing of the incident was submitted to the MCIU by the ambulance driver which shows the vehicle in the right lane. However the MCIU rejected that as false.

Crash investigation diagram of the crash

If the ambulance was in the far left lane, as reported by eyewitnesses, it may have been obscured from Karen’s view by stationary cars in the other lanes.

“I’m disappointed that the MICA driver has suffered no consequences from the crash he caused,” Karen says.

“He drove straight into me; he admitted to not seeing my vehicle.

“It’s his duty of care to ensure the safety of other road users isn’t compromised on the way to a call-out, for both the benefit of road users and in the interest of the patient who was requiring medical assistance to begin with.”

The only solace for Karen is that she has not been fined for failing to give way to an emergency vehicle. 

She could pay the insurance excess and hope for a favourable payout, but it would affect her future premiums, so she has decided to sue Ambulance Victoria.

Meanwhile, investigations continue into a July 2016 crash in Melbourne between a Camry and two motorcycles. Watch the video below.

The post No charges in ambulance and bike crash appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Harley-Davidson trikes coming soon

Wed, 12/04/2017 - 5:00pm

The long wait for Harley-Davidson trikes, including the new hot-rod Freewheeler (pictured above), is finally over for Australian riders.

The Tri-Glide Ultra will cost $50,995 rideaway and the Freewheeler $40,250 when they arrive in Harley dealerships from October 2017.

Harley-Davidson Australia and New Zealand boss Nigel Keough says the lengthy delay has been in securing Australian Design Rule compliance.

Nigel Keough on a Freewheeler trike

It is believed roll-over issues have been the main sticking points, but there were other small issues such as a reversing lamp.

“Australia has a unique set of compliance issues and we’ve been working through them for several years now,” he told us early last year.

“It’s a very important part of our line-up. It won’t represent massive sales, but it’s an important niche.”

Harley Tri-Glide Ultra Demand for trikes

There certainly will be some demand for Harley trikes judging by the ever-growing numbers of custom and conversion trikes turning up at rallies these days.

The ageing demographic of riders also points to a growing demand for something a little more manageable for old legs.

Nigel believes the Harley-Davidson trikes will sell well because they are factory made and tested, not an untested conversion or individual custom build.

While Harley-Davidson has not been able to import their own trikes into Australia, private importers have been able to import them in restricted volumes for several years. However, they are expensive and do not have factory warranty back-up.

Harley has not been prevented from importing their trikes into New Zealand where the Tri-Glide Ultra sells for $52,495 and the Freewheeler for $42,495.

Freewheeler

For Harley to import their own trikes into Australia, they required ADR compliance.

“We’ve invested a lot in this project,” Nigel says.

The company even flew out five US engineers and rented a race track to demonstrate to officials the safety of the vehicles.

Harley-Davidson trikes

Colours and full Australian specifications are not yet confirmed.

Tri-Glide Tri-Glide Ultra

The Tri-Glide Ultra is a full dresser three-wheeler version based on the Ultra but with a new frame.

It comes with the new twin-cooled Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine and includes electric reverse.

Length 2670mm Seat Height 735mm Fuel tank 22.7L Dry weight 546kg Engine Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 107 Displacement 1745cc Torque 152Nm (112ft-lb) @ 3250rpm Transmission 6-Speed Cruise Drive Front tyre 16”/Dunlop® D402F MT90 Rear tyres 15”/Dunlop® Signature P205 Colours Vivid Black; Superior Blue; Two-Tone Black Hills Gold/Black Quartz; Two-Tone Billet Silver/Vivid Black; Two-Tone Mysterious Red Sunglo; Velocity Red Sunglo; Custom Colour Bonneville Blue/Fathom Blue Freewheeler Freewheeler

The Freewheeler is a stripped-down hot-rod trike based on a Road King.

Its rear section is pulled forward making the overall vehicle length 76.2mm shorter than the Tri-Glide.

It is also powered by the Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine, but not twin cooled because there is no lower fairing to hide the dual radiators.

Length 2615mm Seat 700mm Fuel tank 22.7L Dry weight 492kg Engine Milwaukee-Eight 107 Displacement 1745cc Torque 150Nm (111ft-lb) @ 3250rpm Transmission 6-Speed Cruise Drive Tyre front 19″/D408F MT130 60/B19M/C 612H Rear tyres 15″/Signature P205/65R15 Colours Vivid Black; Black Quartz; Velocity Red Sunglo; Billet Silver; Custom Colour Laguna Orange

The post Harley-Davidson trikes coming soon appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Most important motorcycle tool

Wed, 12/04/2017 - 12:00pm

What is the most important tool any motorcycle rider can cary with them?

We’ll cheat and say a multi-tool such as a Victorinox Swiss Army knife.

Apart from having a number of useful functions, the tool is small and conveniently folds up into a shape that should not cause any injury to you in a crash, even if you carry it in your jacket pocket.

We have featured Victorinox products before as they are made of quality material and are built to last.

One of their latest is the Cybertool M ($235) which has 32 functions in a medium pocket knife size. Victorinox took the traditional Officer’s knife functions and added tools like a bit wrench to match new standards in the electronics industry.

Victorinox Cybertool M tool available in red or blue

It’s only 91mm long and weighs just 153g, but packs a hefty number of tools and features, including Combi-pliers.

So there shouldn’t be too many roadside maintenance jobs you can’t perform with this tool.

You can even take notes with the pressurised ballpoint pen!

Cybertool M multi tool features

Large and small blades; reamer, punch and sewing awl; can opener; mini, 3mm and 6mmmm screwdrivers; bottle opener; wire stripper; key ring; toothpick; tweezers; stainless steel pin; pliers; wire cutters; wire crimper; scissors; multipurpose hook; corkscrew; slotted 4mm bit; three Phillips bits; three Torx bits; bitwrench; 4mm and 5mm female Hex drive for bits and D-SUB connectors and a Hex 4 bit.

The various bits come in a special fold-out case.

The post Most important motorcycle tool appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Is this the next Suzuki Hayabusa?

Wed, 12/04/2017 - 6:00am

If this is a photo of the next-generation Suzuki Hayabusa there is no indication of an expected turbocharger or supercharger.

The photo comes from a Japanese magazine and reveals a host of styling changes:

  • LED daytime running lights around the headlight;
  • reshaped nose with two big air vents;
  • indicators moved from the nose to the mirrors;
  • a bigger windscreen that drops down over the nose fairing;
  • a reshaped and probably larger fuel tank;
  • wider tail with a lower pillion seat cover;
  • a reshaped fairing with an extra vent in the side;
  • redesigned mag wheels with more spokes; and
  • a fatter, but shorter muffler.

But there is no sign of any forced induction for the engine as tipped after Suzuki president Toshihiro Suzuki recently said they were studying how much turbo technology would cost to put into mass-production.

Not unless they have done a fantastic job of hiding a forced-induction unit!

Instead, there may be more ram air from the larger intakes in the front. This could give the 1300c engine more output than the current 147kW of power and 138.7Nm of torque.

That’s if they stay at 1300cc. It may have been increased to compete with the Kawasaki ZX14R or the new Kawasaki H2 and H2R.

The only thing Suzuki has confirmed is that it will have as many as seven different riding modes.

The new-generation Hayabusa has a slightly sleeker design like the GSX concept clay model they revealed at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.

Suzuki GSX Concept

Another possible change to the Hayabusa could be active electronic suspension. A clue could be the different colour of the front forks.

The only changes to the 2017 Hayabusa are new colours: Glass Sparkle Black and Pearl Blue/Glass Sparkle Black. Prices are unchanged from last year’s model at $20,790 ride away.

The post Is this the next Suzuki Hayabusa? appeared first on Motorbike Writer.

Motorcycle sales crash in first quarter

Tue, 11/04/2017 - 1:23pm

Australian motorcycle sales have hit their first downturn in several years with a massive 13.4% decline to 21,794 in the first quarter of 2017.

Road bikes had been performing best of all over the past few years, but were down by 15.5% in the quarter.

Off-road bikes were down 15.3%, scooters again fell significantly (22.3%) and ATV sales were only down 1.3%, according to Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries figures.

The 2017 sales stumble comes after a busy 2016, in which the industry recorded its best annual result since 2009.

Victory for Victory

Ironically, the only motorcycle brand to experience an increase in sales in the quarter was the axed Victory Motorcycles as customers rushed to buy them before they are gone forever.

2017 Victory Octane Harley retains top position

Next best performer was Harley-Davidson which has been the top road bike brand in the country the past couple of years.

Harley was down only 1.1% in the quarter and retained its top-selling status in road bikes with 2261 sales for the first quarter, followed by Honda (-18.1%, 1943 sales) and Yamaha (-18%, 1455).

Bobber bobs up

Next best performer was Triumph which was down only 6.5%, thanks to the popularity of the new Bonneville range, especially the new solo-seat Bobber.

Triumph Bonneville Bobber

The stylish Bobber has been the most successful new model launch in Triumph’s history in the USA and caused such a rush, Avon Tyres has had to ramp up production of its Cobra tyres.

Triumph Australia marketing manager Dale McBride says that since it launched in February, it has been their best selling model with a “healthy order bank still to be fulfilled”.

“Dealer demos aren’t lasting too long as they are sold to eager customers and then being replaced ASAP,” he says.

“We had great reviews from our customers at this weekend’s National RAT Rally.”

Biggest losers

Biggest brand losers were Hyosung -82.7%, Aprilia -78.7% and Moto Guzzi -53.2%.

The sales crash in the first quarter is bad news for the industry and riders.

However, it could lead to a discount war among manufacturers and dealers over the next few months leading up to the end of the financial year as they try to clear floor stock.

We spoke to several dealers and industry figures, but no one wanted to go on the record.

They say it has been a difficult start to the year with extremes of weather – heat, cyclone, floods – and a slowing economy.

Yet motor vehicle sales had a record March!

TOP 10 MOTORCYCLES (excludes ATVs)

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Honda

NBC110

527

863

-38.9%

Harley Davidson

FXSB

352

304

15.8%

Harley Davidson

XG500

322

395

-18.5%

Honda

GROM

294

0.0%

Yamaha

YZF-R3A

279

384

-27.3%

Kawasaki

Ninja 300

268

453

-40.8%

Honda

CRF450R

260

94

176.6%

Kawasaki

KLX110

258

257

0.4%

Harley Davidson

VRSCDX

254

171

48.5%

Yamaha

MT07L

250

392

-36.2%

TOP 10 ROAD BIKES

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Honda

NBC110

527

863

-38.9%

Harley Davidson

FXSB

352

304

15.8%

Harley Davidson

XG500

322

395

-18.5%

Honda

GROM

294

0.0%

Yamaha

YZF-R3A

279

384

-27.3%

Kawasaki

Ninja 300

268

453

-40.8%

Harley Davidson

VRSCDX

254

171

48.5%

Yamaha

MT07L

250

392

-36.2%

Honda

CBR500R

221

170

30.0%

Yamaha

MT-09

219

174

25.9%

Harley Softail Breakout Pix: Greg Smith iKapture

TOP 10 CRUISERS

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Harley Davidson

FXSB

352

304

15.8%

Harley Davidson

XG500

322

395

-18.5%

Harley Davidson

VRSCDX

254

171

48.5%

Harley Davidson

FXDLS

167

0.0%

Kawasaki

Vulcan S

148

171

-13.5%

Harley Davidson

FXDB

133

214

-37.9%

Harley Davidson

FLSTFBS

83

115

-27.8%

Yamaha

XVS650/A

83

133

-37.6%

Ducati

Diavel

81

67

20.9%

Harley Davidson

FXDWG

75

86

-12.8%

TOP 10 SCOOTERS

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Piaggio

Fly 150

97

113

-14.2%

Suzuki

ADDRESS

88

97

-9.3%

Honda

WW150

81

101

-19.8%

Piaggio

ZIP 50

77

69

11.6%

Vespa

GTS 300

58

65

-10.8%

Vespa

PRIMAVERA 150

54

55

-1.8%

Honda

NSC110

53

103

-48.5%

Piaggio

Typhoon 50

46

48

-4.2%

Vespa

GTS 250

42

41

2.4%

Honda

MW110

41

50

-18.0%

TOP 10 LAMS 

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Honda

NBC110

527

863

-38.9%

Harley Davidson

XG500

322

395

-18.5%

Honda

GROM

294

0.0%

Yamaha

YZF-R3A

279

384

-27.3%

Kawasaki

Ninja 300

268

453

-40.8%

Yamaha

MT07L

250

392

-36.2%

Yamaha

WR450F

247

529

-53.3%

Suzuki

DR-Z400E

223

234

-4.7%

Honda

CBR500R

221

170

30.0%

KTM

500EXC

176

141

24.8%

Yamaha R3

TOP 10 SPORTS TOURERS

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Yamaha

YZF-R3A

279

384

-27.3%

Kawasaki

Ninja 300

268

453

-40.8%

Kawasaki

Ninja 650L

131

113

15.9%

KTM

RC390

92

101

-8.9%

Honda

CBR650FL

74

98

-24.5%

BMW

R 1200 RS

47

47

0.0%

Kawasaki

Ninja 1000

46

45

2.2%

Yamaha

MT09TRA

40

61

-34.4%

Suzuki

GSX-S1000F

29

12

141.7%

BMW

S 1000 XR

29

45

-35.6%

TOP 10 ADVENTURE TOURERS

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Honda

CRF1000

191

270

-29.3%

Suzuki

DR650SE

139

135

3.0%

BMW

R 1200 GS Adventure

92

92

0.0%

BMW

R 1200 GS

89

88

1.1%

Honda

CB500XA

74

78

-5.1%

Kawasaki

KLR650

73

79

-7.6%

KTM

1190ADVR

48

64

-25.0%

Ducati

Multistrada 1200

44

38

15.8%

KTM

690ENDR

40

60

-33.3%

Triumph

Tiger 800 XC

40

99

-59.6%

TOP 10 NAKED

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Honda

GROM

294

0.0%

Yamaha

MT07L

250

392

-36.2%

Yamaha

MT-09

219

174

25.9%

Honda

CB125E

140

192

-27.1%

Yamaha

MT03LA

127

45

182.2%

Triumph

Bonneville T120

89

29

206.9%

Triumph

Thruxton

78

29

169.0%

Yamaha

MT10

77

0.0%

Kawasaki

Z300

63

113

-44.2%

Honda

CB500FA

56

65

-13.8%

Honda CBR500R

TOP 10 SUPERSPORT

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Honda

CBR500R

221

170

30.0%

Honda

CBR300R

131

158

-17.1%

BMW

S 1000 RR

78

60

30.0%

Ducati

959 Panigale

70

89

-21.3%

Kawasaki

Ninja ZX-10R

54

84

-35.7%

Honda

CBR1000RR

49

87

-43.7%

Suzuki

GSX-R1000

48

30

60.0%

Yamaha

YZF-R1

41

59

-30.5%

Ducati

1299 Panigale

36

53

-32.1%

Triumph

DAYTONA 675

36

35

2.9%

TOP 10 TOURING

Manufacturer

Model

Total

YTD 2017

YTD 2016

% Chg

Harley Davidson

FLHXS

101

87

16.1%

Harley Davidson

FLHTK

63

57

10.5%

Harley Davidson

FLHR

46

38

21.1%

Harley Davidson

FLTRXS

38

33

15.2%

Harley Davidson

FLHXSE2

37

40

-7.5%

BMW

R 1200 RT

32

33

-3.0%

Yamaha

FJR1300

24

26

-7.7%

Honda

GL1800

22

22

0.0%

Triumph

T/Bird LT

21

23

-8.7%

Indian

Roadmaster

20

8

150.0%

 

The post Motorcycle sales crash in first quarter appeared first on Motorbike Writer.