Thursday, October 25, 2007

2008 Aprilia Mana 850


Ever since its industry debut at the 2006 EICMA Milan Bike Show, the Aprilia Mana 850 has been an intriguing design. Now as the 2007 round of bike shows begin, the innovative Mana nears production as a 2008 model and the Italian marque has released more information about its latest streetbike.

Okay, so maybe the name is a bit strange. Wasn't mana the biblical food that fell from heaven like magic, or is it the stuff that fantasy role players use to cast spells... Anyhow, in spite of the hinky biblical/fantasy nomenclature, the Mana 850 is a very exciting two-wheeled design.

The Mana's headline component is the electronically-controlled Sportgear transmission. A conspicuous absence on the new Aprilia is the clutch lever, as the bike's transmission is automatic. Riders still have control, however, as the ground-breaking gearbox design has two methods available - the manual Sequential mode and a fully-automatic Autodrive option. Riders are able to switch back and forth between the two modes at will via a handlebar switch.

Sequential mode allows the rider to shuffle through the seven gear ratios by using either the familiar left-side foot pedal or by pressing a switch on the left handlebar. It is a design reminiscent of the paddle/lever shifting system on the Yamaha FJR1300AE. On deceleration, if the rider does not complete manual downshifts, the Mana will perform the operation on its own.

A rider can opt to let the electronics do all the thinking in Autodrive mode, with a CVT transmission delivering optimal power to the rear wheel. There are three engine mappings available in Autodrive, with Touring and Sport complemented by a Rain setting for when the road surface gets slick. There is also a semi-Autodrive mode available, which permits downshifts for those moments when riders need a boost of acceleration or engine braking.

The headline-generating transmission is mated to a 90-degree V-Twin developed in-house by Aprilia. The oversquare 839cc Twin features an 88mm bore and 69mm stroke. Aprilia claims the liquid-cooled powerplant churns out 76 horsepower and 54 lb-ft or torque at the crank, with a chain drive transferring those numbers to the rear wheel. A Weber Marelli EFI system with 38mm throttle body controls what enters the four-valve per cylinder design, while a Euro-III compliant 2-into-1 exhaust takes care of the leftovers.



Enough with the engine already (how often do you hear that in a new model debut?), because the other distinctive feature on the Mana is its storage capacity, with the new design able to stow a full-face helmet. The helmet tucks away in a compartment located where the traditional fuel tank would sit, the gas instead being stored in a 4.2-gallon underseat design. Built-in helmet storage is an advantage that cannot be overlooked, enhancing further the Mana's potential as a commuter mount.

After the notable gearbox and storage capabilities, the Mana provides a more conventional, standard package. A steel trellis frame delivers sporty steering geometry, with a 24-degree rake, 4 inches of trail and a 55.6-inch wheelbase. The 31.5-inch seat height should accommodate most potential riders.

Suspension is handled by an inverted 43mm fork with 4.7 inches of travel up front. The rear suspender is a hydraulic shock adjustable for preload and rebound damping with 4.9 inches of wheel travel.

Bringing the new Aprilia to a stop are dual 320mm rotors (the same size discs as those on Aprilia's Tuono and Mille literbikes). The large front rotors are pinched down by 4-piston radial calipers, with a single 260mm rear disc configuration out back.

On top of it all, the Mana 850 is a sharp-looking motorcycle. Now our only hope is the new Aprilia makes its way over to U.S. shores, because this pioneering design looks like a load of fun. If you doubt it, make sure to check out www.apriliamana.com for pics and a great video of the bike in action.

Are you up to date on all the lastest and greatest 2008 models? Let MotorcycleUSA.com get you up to speed with the 2008 New Model Roundup page. Whether it's the latest sportbike, cruiser or new dirt machines, we've got you covered.

2008 Honda Motorcycles


2008 Honda XL700V Transalp
One of the interesting models that was shown is the XL700V Transalp, which will probably not come to the U.S., unfortunately. Although its styling is rather mundane, a 700cc V-twin motorcycle would make an interesting entry in the basically non-existent mid-range motorcycle market in the U.S. for discriminating buyers who haven't been taken in by the "more is better" approach to engine capacity, where anything under 1,000 cc's isn't even considered.

The XL700V Transalp is a dual-purpose sports model with a water-cooled, 4-stroke, 700cc V-twin engine. Engine displacement has been increased from 650cc to 700cc for this revised model, and the bike is now fitted with Programmed Fuel Injection system (PGM-FI), for improved midrange output combined with the environmental performance required to comply with Euro 3 regulations.

Other performance improvements include a new ABS system and a smaller 19-inch front tire with a wider 140mm rear tire for enhanced riding stability. New large headlight and distinctive new turn signal units replacing the built-in signals along with a newly designed chassis are included, and the bike has different styling around the front side fairing.

The XL700V Transalp will be manufactured at Montesa Honda S.A., a local manufacturing subsidiary established by Honda in Spain which began operations in 1986. The XL700V Transalp will be released successively in European markets.






2008 Honda CBR1000RR
This super sports model features a water-cooled, high-output 4-stroke, in-line 4-cylinder 1,000cc engine. For the new 2008 model, the number of components has been reduced to make the bike more compact, and the new lightweight, die-cast aluminum frame provides a smooth ride with just the right amount of rigidity.

These and other modifications succeed in reducing overall vehicle weight by 6kg compared to the previous model. The rear swingarm has also been lengthened for improved road holding and increased rigidity, and a gull arm design adopted to secure greater freedom for muffler layout.

The exhaust system is positioned under the pillion step to bring it closer to the bike’s center of gravity, with a short muffler that further contributes to the concentration of mass. Other features that add to the bike appeal the motorcycle include the newly developed assist slipper clutch for easier clutch operation and an enhanced feeling of rider security thanks to the mitigation of abrupt engine braking during downshifting.

The new model’s styling features compact front and rear fairing designed to present an image of extreme compactness, combined with mirrors with built-in turn signals to achieve a cool, aggressive look. The Honda CBR 1000 RR will be manufactured at Honda’s Hamamatsu Factory in Japan and it will be released successively in European markets.




2008 Honda CBF600
Another interesting model is the CBF600, one of three new Hondas that reach back to Honda's legacy for its styling cues. Equipped with a water-cooled, 4-stroke, 600cc in-line 4-cylinder engine in a mono-backbone frame, the CBF600 has been acclaimed for its nimble handling.

To improve both performance and practicality, this year’s model has been fitted with a more compact, higher-output engine based on the one used in the 2007 CBR600RR and CB600F Hornet, both of which were fully remodeled last year. New features including Programmed Fuel Injection system (PGM-FI) for precise fuel control and a lightweight, aluminum die-cast frame help deliver superior ride performance and outstanding environmental performance.

Comfort enhancements include an adjustable front suspension that allows the rider to choose the setting that best suits his or her own preferences and a newly configured Combined ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) featuring Honda’s CBS front-rear brake-force distribution system for a more secure braking feel.

Manufactured by Honda Italia Industriale S.P.A., Honda’s Italian motorcycle and power products manufacturing and sales subsidiary, the CBF600 will be made available successively in European markets.







Honda Human-Friendly Transmission (HFT)
Honda has also recently announced that it has developed the Human-Friendly Transmission (HFT), a new automatic transmission system for motorcycles using Honda’s own infinitely variable hydraulic mechanical transmission.

It's claimed to be easy to operate, providing "outstanding relaxed riding comfort, riding feel with direct response and excellent transmission efficiency".

The HFT will be installed on the Honda DN-01, a new motorcycle scheduled for market launch to be introduced at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show on October 27.


Honda Human-Friendly Transmission (HFT)

With Honda's own infinitely variable hydraulic mechanical transmission, the HFT realizes the lightweight and compact configuration required for motorcycles. To meet the wide range of rider needs, HFT offers a selection from two fully automatic shifting modes.

The "D" mode is used for ordinary riding and the "S" mode for a sporty riding experience, or the 6-speed manual mode can also be used, which gives riders the option of riding with a manual transmission feel. The HFT creates a unique riding feel through easy operation, ranging from relaxed and laid-back riding to nimble and sporty with direct throttle response.

Honda has developed and sold motorcycles equipped with easy-to-operate automatic riding technologies before. As a pioneer in the era of automatic systems, Honda launched the Super Cub C100 in 1958, equipped with an automatic centrifugal clutch mechanism, which allowed riding without the need of clutch operation.

The Eara (750cc), released in 1977, was a first large-sized motorcycle featured a torque converter in Japan. And in 1980, Honda put the Tact on the market, a machine equipped with the Honda original continuously variable transmission, the V-Matic, and Honda has continued to develop a variety of new mechanisms up into the present.

Characteristics of the HFT
A transmission system with a wide range of functions in a single unit, the HFT is a compact and highly efficient infinitely variable transmission system encompassing functions for starting, power transmission and shifting, all on a single shaft.

The basic configuration of the system consists of an oil pump for converting engine power into hydraulic pressure, and an oil motor for converting the hydraulic pressure back into power for output. Both are made up of multiple pistons, a distributor valve and a swash plate for piston operation, while the cylinders are integrated into the output shaft, forming the characteristic structure of the HFT.

The HFT also features the world’s first (claimed) lockup mechanism for an infinitely variable hydraulic mechanical transmission. When cruising, this lockup mechanism works to minimize transmission efficiency losses, contributing to improved fuel economy.

More 2008 Honda Motorcycles
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced the line-up of motorcycles that will be premiered at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show 2007 (organized by Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association), to be held at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan from Saturday, October 27 to Sunday, November 11, 2007.

Honda’s motorcycle exhibition will feature World Premiere concept models (prototype), pre-launch models, and a comprehensive line-up of other motorcycles and advanced environmental and safety technologies.

Overview of Featured Motorcycles and Other Exhibits
It is expected that Honda will announce the following motorcycles for various markets:

EVO6
CB1100F
CB1100R
GOLDWING
CB1300 SUPER FOUR (ABS) and SUPER BOL D’OR (ABS)
SHADOW (750)
SHADOW (400)
SILVER WING (400)
FORZA Z and FORZA Z (ABS)
CB223S
LEAD
ST1300 Pan-European (ABS)
Production Models
CB750
CBR600RR
CB400SS
XR400 Motard
CRF150R
Today
Also on Exhibition
RC212V (2007 MotoGP racing machine)
CRF450R (2007 All Japan Motocross Championship IA1 Class racing machine)
COTA 4RT (2007 Trial World Championship Series winning machine)
CBR1000RRW / CBR1000RR (2007 Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race racing machine)
Honda Riding Simulator Riding Trainer
Variable Cylinder Management system equipped engine for motorcycle
FORZA engine (cutaway model)



Honda EVO6



Honda FORZA Z



Also Announced by Honda At The Frankfurt Motor Show


Motorcycle Airbag Enters Production
Naturally, safety research also plays a key role in motorcycle design, exemplified by the world's first production motorcycle airbag system now available on the new Gold Wing motorcycle shown on the stand.

By conducting extensive crash tests at its indoor omni-directional Real World Crash Test Facility, applying advanced computer simulation technology, and leading the way with the introduction of motorcycle rider test dummies, Honda has gathered and analyzed a wide array of data on the behavior of motorcycles during collisions. The motorcycle airbag is the result and it can help lessen the severity of injuries caused by frontal collisions

2008 Honda DN-01 Production Bike makes its debut


(A DN-01 will all the added bells and whistles. Pretty sexy!)

More great TheScooterScoop exclusives from Skorj at FilmWasters.com. This time we've got the final production version of the Honda DN-01 Automatic Sport Cruiser (not a scooter, but a two wheeled oddity for sure). Expect to see this on Japanese streets sometime next year. No commitment on an arrival date for the USA... and why WOULDN'T they bring it here? It has no competition in its class (yet).



(The production version of the DN-01's dash board)




(What the DN-01 looks like from the passenger seat)


So looks like it'll be the Aprilia Mana 850cc vs. the Honda DN-01 680cc vs. Gilera GP 800 850cc for the battle of the mega automatics in 2008. Arigato Skorj! We look forward to more great TMS 2007 coverage as the day progresses.

Tokyo 2007 Preview: Honda DN-01 motorcycle features automatic transmission



The DN-01 is a concept model that developed with the aim of "creating new value" without being locked into any existing category of motorcycle. While the automatic model has been synonymous with the scooter and has made a clear departure from motorcycles, Honda presents the automatic sports cruiser "DN-01" featuring Honda's unique infinitely variable hydraulic mechanical transmission, the "HFT" (Human Fitting Transmission). The DN-01 is easy to operate and offers much sportier performance than existing automatic transmissions. Delivering an exciting riding experience like no other, the DN-01 Discovery Cruiser offers adults a fresh motorcycling style.



Infinitely Variable HFT Transmission Delivers a Revolutionary Riding Feel.
This new-generation infinitely variable transmission delivers superb throttle response and stepless shifting, with no mid-corner shifting shocks. Riders can select from three shifting modes: Drive Mode, Sports Mode and 6-Speed Manual Mode. Moreover, the HFT offers the world's first* lock-up mechanism in an infinitely variable, hydraulic mechanical transmission. Powered by a 680cc V-twin engine, this machine realizes novel levels of comfort and sportiness.
*According to a Honda survey.



Fiercely Original and Creative Style
Pushing forward to create new value, the design concept aims for a long and low, modern organic look. The image created by the long-nose front cowl is highly dynamic, while the undercowl-muffler and Pro-Arm rear suspension add a functional beauty to the overall design. Highly centralized mass and ideal front/rear weight distribution ensure unimaginable maneuverability from this 1,605mm-long wheelbase.



A Supremely Comfortable Riding Position.
The large seat is fitted with an adjustable backrest for plush comfort on long rides, while wide footboards allow maximum freedom of movement. Complemented by a low 680mm seat, the riding position is spacious and relaxing. Passengers are also comfortable, thanks to the ample and lengthy passenger seat. This new genre of motorcycle gives new enjoyment to both rider and passenger.




*Liquid cooled, four stroke, 52°V-Twin, SOHC. 3 valve per cylinder

* Capacity: 680
* Bore x Stroke 81 x 66 mm
* Total length 2,345mm
* Full-width 834mm
* Total height 1,100mm
* Engine type Water cooling 4 strokes OHC V type 2 cylinders
* Total cubic displacement 680cm3
* Seat Height is 26.7 inches
* Wheelbase is 63.2 inches
* Engine is fuel-injected V-Twin 680cc 65-hp
* The transmissin is a new hydraulic-lock-up CVT that will offer the option of full-auto or thumb-shift.
* Integrated GPS, built in stereo speakers, and likely ABS/linked braking.


(from forum member freebird): It uses the NEW Deauville engine which is a fuel-injected 4-valve 680cc V-2 putting out 64-hp [the old Deauville engine was 2-valves, carb'd, and I think 640cc]. If you don't know anything about the Deauville Sport Touring bike you probablu live in the USA

Honda Develops HFT, a New Automatic Transmission System for Motorcycles

TOKYO, Japan, October 4, 2007–Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced that it has developed the Human-Friendly Transmission (HFT), a new automatic transmission system for motorcycles using Honda's own infinitely variable hydraulic mechanical transmission. Easy to operate, the HFT realizes outstanding relaxed riding comfort, riding feel with direct response and excellent transmission efficiency. The HFT will be installed on the DN-01, a new motorcycle scheduled for market launch to be introduced at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show.

With Honda's own infinitely variable hydraulic mechanical transmission, this HFT realizes the lightweight and compact configuration required for motorcycles. To meet the wide range of rider needs, HFT offers a selection from two fully automatic shifting modes-D mode for ordinary riding and S mode for a sporty riding experience-or the 6-speed manual mode, which gives riders the option of riding with a manual transmission feel. The HFT creates a unique riding feel through easy operation, ranging from relaxed and laid-back riding to nimble and sporty with direct throttle response. With the aim of providing products useful in the every day lives of customers, Honda has developed and sold motorcycles equipped with easy-to-operate automatic riding technologies. As a pioneer in the era of automatic systems, Honda launched the Super Cub C100 in 1958, equipped with an automatic centrifugal clutch mechanism, which allowed riding without the need of clutch operation. The Eara (750cc), released in 1977, was a first large-sized motorcycle featured a torque converter in Japan. In 1980, Honda put the Tact on the market, a machine equipped with the Honda original continuously variable transmission, the V-Matic, and Honda has continued to develop a variety of new mechanisms up into the present.

A transmission system with a wide range of functions in a single unit, the HFT is a compact and highly efficient infinitely variable transmission system encompassing functions for starting, power transmission and shifting, all on a single shaft. The basic configuration of the system consists of an oil pump for converting engine power into hydraulic pressure, and an oil motor for converting the hydraulic pressure back into power for output. Both are made up of multiple pistons, a distributor valve and a swash plate for piston operation, while the cylinders are integrated into the output shaft, forming the characteristic structure of the HFT.

The HFT also features the world's first lockup mechanism for an infinitely variable hydraulic mechanical transmission. When cruising, this lockup mechanism works to minimize transmission efficiency losses, contributing to improved fuel economy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Vectrix Electric Maxi-Scooter

Electric-powered two-wheelers certainly seem to be on the verge of advancing from the prototype stage to wide-scale commercialisation. Take the first electric "maxi-scooter" presented by American manufacturer Vectrix at the Milan Show. Our test ride proved perfectly conclusive.

It doesn't yet have any other name than "electric maxi-scooter", but this is all that really distinguishes it from any of the numerous models over 250 cc that every year share the booming two-wheel "individual mobility" market.

Visually, the new electric scooter by Vectrix looks like any other scooter. Its front is reminiscent of a Honda Silver Wing 600, the rear brings to mind a Malaguti Spidermax 500. It has the immense seat typical of those luxurious machines, and the wheels are relatively large in diameter (14 inch at the front and 13 at the rear).

The trim of the display models on the stand at the Milan Show seemed to us to be perfectly in accord with current requirements.



There is no doubt, in these circumstances, that Vectrix will be able to honour its promise of commercialising this maxi-scooter from the end of 2006 in Italy and England. Because this electric scooter is not just another prototype, but well and truly intended for immediate launch.



© Vectrix
"Clean" and high-performance
This maxi-scooter draws its energy from NiMH batteries (125 volts, 3.7 kW/h) which power a permanent-magnet "Brushless"-type motor, placed directly on the rear wheel, in a superb aluminium swing arm. Like all electric two-wheelers, it emits no pollutants and operates in almost total silence.


Its novelty comes from its performance, Vectrix announcing figures above those of 400 cc petrol-engine scooters. For example, it does 0 to 80 kph (50 mph) in 6.8 seconds! In any case, the little test run we carried out in Milan shows that performance is not in doubt. Accompanied by the hiss typical of this type of machinery, acceleration is powerful, with torque immediately available at low revs (maximum torque: 6.5 kg-m at 3,500 rpm!).

The maximum output delivered by the electric motor is 27 hp at 3,000 rpm (9.5 hp continuous output). Consequently, this maxi-scooter will be reserved for motorcycle licence holders. The top speed is announced at approximately 100 kph (62 mph).

The electric motor is concealed in this aluminium swing arm.
© Vectrix
Range of 100 km, recharge in two hours
In deceleration phase, the Vectrix system (protected by six patents filed worldwide) automatically recharges the batteries, making it possible to increase their range by around 10%. Moreover, the very powerful engine brake dispenses with using the brakes to slow down. Lastly, this system offers the benefit of a reverse gear intended to facilitate parking.

Battery range should be in the region of 100 km (62 miles), with a recharge time of two hours (80%). Vectrix asserts that these batteries will have a life of 10 years, based on 8,000 km (5,000 miles) per year.


© Vectrix
As precise and practical as a petrol scooter
The batteries lie at the centre of a robust aluminium frame, in the central tunnel. Great attention has been paid to the entire chassis, as witnessed by the list of suppliers (Marzocchi fork, Sachs shock absorbers, Brembo brakes.).

The machine is relatively heavy (210 kg in roadworthy condition) and its long wheelbase seems to favour stability. The very low centre of gravity does, however, preserve manoeuvrability, whilst weight distribution seems very even.

Beneath the seat, there is sufficient space to store a full-face helmet once you reach your destination. The dashboard contains all the usual information, including a battery status indicator and estimated remaining range, all presented in digital form.


Immediately available, but at a high price
Produced in the United States (New Bedford) and Poland (Wroclaw), the Vectrix maxi-scooter should be available from the end of 2006 in Italy and England, and from early 2007 in France and in Europe, where the company is still seeking distributors.

There remains the selling price. In Milan, Vectrix told us it would be around 11,000 euros (OTR price in the UK is £6,930), which is much more than for current 400 or 500 cc scooters. However, you have to allow for the possibility of government aid with respect to this type of powered vehicle, and take into consideration the low cost of use (-25% over 4 years, according to Vectrix) and maintenance (-70%). The manufacturer's warranty will last two years (four years in the UK).


In the end, this electric maxi-scooter will probably not cause any immediate upset on the European market, but one has to acknowledge that Vectrix has managed to take a clear lead with this visibly highly promising technology.


Three-wheel version on the cards
On the stand at Milan, Vectrix was also presenting this three-wheel prototype, whose front axle operates very much like that of the Piaggio MP3. It is scheduled for launch in 2008.



Vectrix is also working on finalising a hybrid model, integrating a fuel cell to increase overall range to 250 km (155 miles).


Web site: www.vectrix.com

Piaggio will bring Gilera Fuoco 500 to America as the MP3-500 and MP3-400




Well, well, well... it appears as if the rumor about the Piaggio MP3 getting a larger engine for the U.S. market might just be a reality. In fact, it's even better than even the die-hard scooter fanatics could have hoped for. Not only is the MP3 getting the long-rumored 400cc engine here in the States, we are also getting an MP3-500! The 500cc equipped machine will differ from the other MP3's though. The Gilera Fuoco 500ie, which is a brand not sold at all in America, is being brought over almost exactly as-is, except with another badge on its flanks.

As a refresher, the Piaggio MP3 is a leaning three-wheeled scooter which is currently available for sale. Currently a 250cc engine powers the scooter and the 400cc version should be in showrooms soon. Rumor has it that the MP3 500 should go for around $10,000. That is pretty expensive, but as Steve from The Scooter Scoop says: hotness has a price!

The last piece of good scooter news is that the new Vespa S might come stateside as well. I know some people have been waiting for that announcement too!

[Source: The Scooter Scoop]

Concept Motorcycle Hybrids

Tokyo 2007 Preview: Yamaha Tesseract concept...

And now for something completely different. Yamaha has just announced that it will be bringing a bevy of new motorcycle and scooter models to the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show. One of the more interesting concepts, which we'll roughly refer to as a motorcycle, is the Tesseract. Piaggio has a success on their hands in the form of the MP3, which is capable of leaning into turns despite the third wheel. Yamaha has one-upped that with its Tesseract, though, by adding yet one more whee,l bringing the total count to four. And yet, nobody would confuse this machine with a car!



Again, following Piaggio's lead with its impending hybrid MP3, Yamaha has made this concept a hybrid, boasting both a V-Twin engine of undisclosed size along with an electric motor. Yamaha claims that the machine is about the same width as a standard motorcycle, meaning lane-splitting could feasibly remain an option and parking shouldn't be too difficult. The Tesseract has also been equipped with a mechanism to keep the machine upright when stopped or when parked, once again, like the MP3. As for the styling? It's, uh... different! Imagine a Transformer half transformed and you'll be pretty darn close. And we love it!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Vectrix



MAX SPEED : 62mph
HORSEPOWER : 27
WEIGHT : 500LBS

Two pieces of interesting Vectrix news coming your way today, you lucky readers! One, we hear that Vectrix might be debuting their long-rumored electric Superbike on November 6th in Milan. We'd be very happy if this one turns out to be true, and even happier if the bike were equipped with lithium ion batteries. For sportbike use, we'd want to see at least 100 miles per hour from the bike with excellent acceleration. We also think that the range should be better than the scooter too, which would of course also raise the price of the cycle. Trade-offs!

The second piece of news to share was featured in the print version of Popular Science in their April '07 issue. We've known for some time that Vectrix was planning to have a three-wheeler based on the Piaggio MP3's innovative leaning front suspension system, but we missed the picture from PopSci (.pdf), which claims that the bike will be out in '08 and will cost $12,000. We can't verify any of that information, though, so we'll wait for an official announcement from Vectrix on the matter before we get too excited.

[Source: Motoblog, Popular Science]

Monday, October 8, 2007

Piaggio MP3 HYS

Always considering environmental problems, Piaggio presented a inovative solution destinated to change for ever the way we comute in crowded cities.



Year after year the cities become more and more crowded and with personal transporting becoming a must, somebody had to find a solution. You will probably thing that it was found together with the two wheels but not everybody will agree with you. Many people are scared of getting on two wheels and this is where Piaggio comes in.

After recently releasing Piaggio MP3, the President of Piaggio expressed its intentions to release a hybrid version of the vehicle that will result in providing solutions for congested cities.

The scooter is scheduled for release for the European at the end of the month and it will use Piaggio’ HYS technology.

The Piaggio HYS uses ingenious technical solution and still can be ridden with the usual controls (accelerator, brakes and additional handlebar commands) as well as a specific switch to choose one of four operating modes: standard hybrid, high-charge hybrid, low-charge hybrid and electric only.

In the first three modes the HYS manages power output from the two engines, thermal and electric, using a drive-by-wire system: the electronic management system (SGE) interprets the rider’s request for more torque and selects the assist ratio on the state of the system. During deceleration and braking, the control system recovers and accumulates power that is lost on normal vehicles with battery.

In standard hybrid mode the battery charge is maintained at optimum traction levels (batteries at 75%). In view of “electric only” use, the rider can, however, choose the high-charge hybrid function, geared to maximize the range of the electric motor (batteries at 95%).

On the other hand, if the rider wishes to recharge the batteries by plugging them into a power outlet, he can use the low-charge hybrid mode (batteries at 20%) to obtain maximum performance with minimum consumption.

In electric-only mode, the Piaggio HYS shuts down the combustion engine and turns into a silent, zero-emissions electric vehicle.

Drive-by-wire technology not only allows the control system to optimally manage the combined power output of the two engines but also “forces” the terminal engine to work when it can be most efficient, thereby reducing specific consumption, with obvious advantages in terms of lower consumption and emissions.

Are you afraid of traveling on two wheels? How about three? You don’t need balance, you can easily concentrate on the road ahead and traffic jams will be a nightmare with this new, environmental friendly machine that will soon invade the streets of Europe.

Yamaha Gen-RYU hybrid motorcycle




Yamaha is dropping no less than 9 world premiere models on the 39th Tokyo Motor Show coming up later this month. Of special note to us is the Gen-Ryu hybrid motorcycle prototype (damn!) which combines the YZF-R6 600cc engine with a high output, high efficiency electric motor. Combine that with some fat wheels and that long wheelbase and you've got a machine said to perform and handle like a "1,000cc class machine." Eco-power not workin' it for ya? Ok, well consider it has a vehicle-to-vehicle distance warning system, a "cornering light system" for a little night time knee-scraping action, and a noise cancelation system which is said to allow for an intercom, voice navigation, hands-free cellphone calls, and music player — damn impressive if it really works! And just for kicks, how about an LCD so you can watch those cagers mouth "what the…" as you roll on by.

Honda SilverWing ABS 2008 -- Honda NEWSROOM

09/05/2007 - Torrance, Calif. -
For performance that stands tall in the world of scooters, Honda's Silver Wing™ offers an innovative blend of high performance, easy operation and distinctive styling.

Features & Benefits

New for 2008


New Metallic Grey color
Unique features

Sophisticated Honda V-Matic belt-drive system delivers seamless shifting and ample power at any speed.
Combined Braking System (CBS) provides excellent braking power for added confidence in a wide range of operating conditions (see Technology Section)
Optional Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS w/CBS) model (see Technology Section).
Cavernous 55-liter under seat storage compartment and beautiful, lightweight aluminum rear spoiler.
Engine/Drivetrain

Four-stroke 582cc parallel twin-cylinder engine features DOHC and four valves per cylinder for unequalled engine performance and clean, efficient operation.
Air injection system, exhaust catalyzer and advanced digital mapping simultaneously reduce emissions.
Engine's 360-degree crankshaft design incorporates two primary balancer shafts into the crankcase to minimize vibration.
Direct shim-under-bucket valve actuation ensures excellent engine performance, trouble-free operation and 16,000-mile valve maintenance intervals.
Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) (see Technology Section).
Maintenance-free, fully transistorized digital ignition ensures reliable power.
Compact, liquid-cooled oil cooler mounts to the front of the crankcase and provides a convenient mount for the spin-on oil filter.
Fan-cooled radiator ensures consistent engine operating temperatures and long engine life.
Lightweight and quiet stainless-steel exhaust system.
Honda V-Matic automatic belt-drive system has sophisticated three-stage operation for optimum power delivery around town or on the freeway.
Chassis/Suspension

Durable steel frame is lightweight yet strong, providing an optimum combination of rigidity and flexibility for superb handling for one- and two-up riding.
Engine crankshaft and swingarm pivot are coaxially aligned to eliminate the engine as an unsprung suspension member, resulting in better mass centralization for excellent handling, stability and rider comfort.
Stout 41mm hydraulic front fork with 4.7 inches of suspension travel provides a plush, well-controlled ride.
Dual rear shocks have 4.5 inches of travel and five-position spring preload adjustability for a smooth, comfortable ride. Rearward mounting of the shocks allows a large-capacity underseat storage compartment.
A hydraulic three-piston caliper and 276mm front disc brake, plus a lightweight, twin-piston caliper and 240mm rear disc brake, offer excellent stopping power.
Large 14-inch 120/80 front tire and 13-inch 150/70 rear tire provide excellent traction.
Additional Features

Wind-tunnel–developed full-coverage body-work and windscreen are both beautiful and functional, protecting the rider from the elements while reducing wind noise.
Integrated floorboards angle upward in the front for optimum rider foot placement when riding. The floorboards narrow below the seat, allowing the rider to easily place both feet on the ground.
Multi-reflector headlight incorporates a wide-dimension low beam located directly above the high beam in a compact V-shape for optimal lighting.
Wide-and-low padded seat has an adjustable five-position rider backrest that adjusts over a 2-inch range. The long, wide passenger seat is very comfortable for all-day two-up riding. The locking seat opens to the front and is held open by a hydraulic damper for easy loading of the storage compartment.
Instrumentation includes an analog speedometer and tachometer, with LCD digital displays for odometer, twin tripmeters, fuel, clock and coolant temperature. Indicator lights display parking brake, fuel injection, V-Belt, high beam, oil pressure and coolant temperature.
Large 4.2-gallon fuel tank offers extended cruising range. The fuel door is located behind a locking cover built into the floor tunnel for easy access.
An easy-to-use cable-operated rear-disc parking brake is engaged by pulling a large handle on the upper-right panel. Pulling the handle again releases the brake.
Powerful 12-volt electrical system and maintenance-free battery offer superb reliability.
Ignition switch/steering lock helps keep the Silver Wing secure when parked.
Sidestand switch allows starting only if the sidestand has been retracted and the rear brake lever is applied.

Honda SilverWing ABS 2008




ENGINE

Engine Type 582cc liquid-cooled four-stroke parallel-twin
Bore and Stroke 72mm x 71.5mm
Compression Ratio 10.2:1
Valve Train DOHC; four valves per cylinder
Carburetion PGM-FI with automatic enricher circuit
Ignition Computer-controlled fully transistorized with electronic advance

DRIVE TRAIN

Transmission Automatic V-Matic belt drive

CHASSIS / SUSPENSION / BRAKES

Front Suspension 41mm hydraulic fork; 4.7 inches travel
Rear Suspension Swingarm with dual hydraulic shocks with five-position spring preload adjustability; 4.5 inches travel
Front Brake Single 276mm disc with CBS three-piston caliper and Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)
Rear Brake Single 240mm disc with CBS twin-piston caliper; Optional ABS
Front Tire 120/80-14
Rear Tire 150/70-13

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase 62.8 inches41mm hydraulic fork; 4.7 inches travel
Seat Height 29.7 inches
Curb Weight 551 lbs (Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and a full tank of fuel—ready to ride)
Fuel Capacity 4.2 gallons, including 0.9-gallon reserve

OTHER

Available Colors Metallic Gray
Model ID FSC600A

FACTORY WARRANTY INFORMATION

One year Unlimited mileage limited warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.