Sunday, November 9, 2008

National Bikers Week 2008

28.29.30 November 2008

National Bikers Weekend (NBW) at Singapore's new iconic Singapore Flyer serves not only as a perfect venue for thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts, race professionals, bike clubs and individual riders to gather and celebrate motorcycle culture in Singapore, but aims to fuse a national motoring identity to all Singaporeans.

Not only is NBW an exciting weekend event for all motorcyclists from all walks of life, it is a lifestyle festival targeted at bikers and their families! That's right bring down your loved ones and while you immerse yourself in motorcycling culture, there will be lifestyle booths and fun-filled activities for all visitors and kids to the Singapore Flyer such as spa treatments, ladies and men's fashion sales and supervised children rides on mini-motorcycles. We aim to make sure that not only will you enjoy yourself as a biker, but your family will too!

With that in our agenda be prepared to have some fun with the very best in eye-popping new 2009 motorcycles on display and heart-stopping, adrenaline pumping stunt action by international motorcycle superstar Oliver Ronzheimer!
Oliver Ronzheimer is world-ranked amongst the best motorcycle stunt artists and entertainers in the business and has been riding motorbikes since the age of 8. Oliver is now recognised to be one of the best riders Europe's elite has ever seen with his popular and friendly style with spectators and his sense of humor interacting with them. In fact he holds the World Record and an entry in the Guinness Book of Records for jumping without a ramp over 38 persons! Hardworking and naturally talented, the Oliver Ronzheimer motorcycle stunt show is an event not to be missed at National Bikers Weekend!

With Motor Culture Asia and Singapore Bikes Forum in full support of this event, genuinely expect the very top motorcycle brands and rider merchandise to be present at this iconic National Bikers Weekend. The new Yamaha VMax and Aprilla Mana are just some of the never-before-seen motorcycles that will be unveiled at NBW.

We hope to see you at Singapore's biggest celebration of motorcycling culture, the National Bikers Weekend 2008 held at the Singapore Flyer. Together, we will show the nation the excitment and fun of being a Singapore biker.

Address:
Singapore Flyer Pte Ltd
30 Raffles Avenue
Singapore 039803

MotoGP stars launch the all-new 2009 Yamaha YZF-R1 in Vegas


Yamaha's superstar MotoGP team, including Valentino Rossi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentino_Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo, Colin Edwards and James Toseland, have assembled to throw their star power behind a completely reworked 2009 R1 launch in Vegas - but the magnificent machine barely needs any help to stand out on its own. The first of the bleeding-edge litrebikes to experiment with an uneven firing order for huge low-end torque and maximum corner exit grip, the Yamaha http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamaha_Corporation has been completely redesigned as a major model upgrade for 2009. One hundred and eighty two horsepower http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horsepower (before ram air kicks in) and 206 kilgorams dripping wet, for less than US$15,000 - aren't these magnificent times for motorcycle fans to live in?

While the 2007-8 R1 was already the technophile's dream of the superbike class, with its fly-by-wire electronic throttle management and variable length air intakes, the bike has received a major model overhaul for 2009, redesigned from the engine out. At the heart of the new R1 is an all-new engine, which is the first of the roadgoing superbikes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superbike_racing to use an uneven firing order at 270-180-90-180 degrees as opposed to the 180-180-180-180 degree firing order used by the rest of the field.

Unevenly spaced power pulses were a hot topic http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_Topic in MotoGP http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Prix_motorcycle_racing at the dawn of the 990cc era, when it was found that by staggering the power pulses into uneven groupings, the rear tyre would seem to grip better out of corners as the gap between pulses allowed the rubber to grab the road a little better. Top-end power might drop, and the bikes didn't feel as fast as the evenly spaced models, but the additional traction out of corners made for better lap times.


The 2009 R1's engine doesn't seem to lose out on top-end power - peaking at a claimed 182 horsepower before ram-air even gets started - but the big bang-lite firing order should make for a more urgent low-end and midrange. Coupled with the variable length intakes and intricate electronic throttle management, the new bike should be an animal right through the rev range, and a much better roadbike for it.

Despite the completely new frame and bodywork, Yamaha has chosen to retain the underseat exhausts of the R1 even as other manufacturers move to a more compact stubby side-exit system. Bulky and uncomfortably hot for pillions, Yamaha openly admits the underseat pipes have been retained primarily for looks - and this is a category in which the R1 has always excelled.

Availability is yet to be announced, but the R1 will sell for US$12,390 in its traditional blue, or US$12,490 in white, yellow and black. More expensive than its Japanese competitors, perhaps, but then it carries more MotoGP technology than any of them - and its looks have always placed it as an item of desire.

Courtesy of gizmag.com

2009 Suzuki Gladius SV650


www.gladiusstyle.com

specs
Engine: 645 cc, 4-stroke, 2-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 90 V-Twin
Bore Stroke: 81.0 mm x 62.6 mm
Compression Ratio: 11.5 : 1
Fuel System: Fuel Injection
Lubrication: Wet sump
Ignition: Electronic ignition (Transistorized)
Transmission: 6-speed, constant mesh
Final Drive: N/A
Overall Length: 2130 mm (83.9 in.)
Overall Width: 760 mm (29.9 in.)
Overall Height: 1080 mm (42.5 in.)
Seat Height: 785 mm (30.9 in.)
Ground Clearance: N/A
Wheelbase: 1445mm (56.9 in.)
Curb Weight: 202kg (446lbs)
Suspension Front: Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Lynk type, coil spring, oil damped, spring preload 7-step adjustable
Brakes Front: 2-piston calipers, 290 mm disc, twin
Brakes Rear: 1-piston caliper, 240mm disc
Tires Front: 120/70ZR17M/C (58W), tubeless
Tires Rear: 160/60ZR17M/C (69W), tubeless
Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.5 L (3.8 US gal)
Color: Black, Blue/White

2009 XJ6 Diversion ABS


Virtually every feature on this attractive new 600 has been designed to ensure that the new XJ6 Diversion delivers all of the style, fun and ease of use that today’s middleweight rider is looking for. Its newly-developed 600 cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke inline 4-cylinder engine has been designed to deliver a smooth band of easy-to-handle power, making the XJ6 Diversion an ideal machine for new and experienced riders. The new tubular frame is designed to deliver easy handling, and its clean lines emphasize the bike’s slim appearance. Lightweight cast wheels keep unsprung weight low, allowing the 41mm front forks and Monocross rear suspension to deliver a smooth ride and good roadholding. For added comfort the new XJ6 Diversion is equipped with adjustable handlebars – and ABS is available as an option.

Features -
New 600 cc inline 4-cylinder engine
Easy-to-handle power delivery
New frame for easy handling
Lightweight cast wheels
Available with ABS



Engine -
Engine type Liquid cooled, 4-stroke, forward-inclined parallel 4-cylinder, 4-valves, DOHC
Displacement 600 cc
Bore x stroke 65.5 x 44.5 mm
Compression ratio 12.2 : 1
Maximum power 57.0 kW (78 PS) @ 10,000 rpm
Maximum torque 59.7 Nm (6.1 kg-m) @ 8,500 rpm
Lubrication system Wet sump
Fuel System Fuel injection
Clutch type Wet, multiple-disc
Ignition system TCI
Starter system Electric
Transmission system Constant mesh 6-speed
Final transmission Chain
Fuel tank capacity 17.3 L
Oil tank capacity 3.4 L


Chassis -
Chassis: Aluminium, diamond shaped
Front suspension system Telescopic fork
Front travel 130 mm
Rear suspension system Swingarm (mono cross)
Rear travel 130 mm
Caster angle 26º
Trail 103.5 mm
Front brake Dual discs, Ø 298 mm
Rear brake Single disc, Ø 245 mm
Front tyre 120/70 ZR17M/C (58W) (tube less)
Rear tyre 160/60 ZR17M/C (69W) (tube less)


Dimensions -
Length 2,120 mm
Width 770 mm
Height 1,210 mm
Seat height 785 mm
Wheel base 1,440 mm
Minimum ground clearance 140 mm
Wet weight 211 kg / ABS: 216 kg

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

BMW F650GS part 2

My first european bike and i'm really spoilt by it... Have more or less gotten used to the bike other than the uTurn part. Seat is cutted and i really feel like i'm wearing pampers when i'm sitting on my bike. Managed to get my left foot flat on the ground at traffic junctions, just gonna tilt a bit to the left but my right will be dangling in mid air.

Managed to make negotiate bends more confidently now as i can roughly know where my front tires are when i'm turning the handlebars.. need more rides to conquer the bike. Also glad that i can dismount the bike without putting my side stand down first.. pushing the bike is getting easier, and i seriously need more practise putting the bike on main stand.. I failed again yesterday but i'm getting there... more dumbell sessions.. =P

Bike overheat when i'm less than 90km/h.. not good.. maybe the coolant is not changed yet.. gonna send for servicing this sat.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My First Ride on the BMW '04 F650GS

Finally, after a 2year long wait. I've got my hands on the '04 BMW F650GS. One of the best all rounder and best tourer.
Why, F650GS

1) It has a lowest seat height among the BMWs... I'm only 1.57m...
2) maintenence is cheaper (almost half) than my old super 4, mineral oil and 2 spark plugs.. compared to fully syn oil and 4 plugs.
3) Rugged Styling... at least its rugged enuff for me. I loved the scrambler feel.
4) Fuel consumption.. I got a big grin when i topped up the bike. The same amount of money paid compare to my little phantom. This bike doesnt need a super high grade petrol so i get to save on petrol topups.


My First Ride:
The bike roars after starting the engine, wow!! maybe its been 2 years since i last own a class 2 bike.. its kinda loud for me.. You dont have to warm up the bike that long cos of the mineral engine oil. The engine warms faster. Moving off is a little "tocky" which is common for the F650. After 4000rpm is super smooth and less vibration. Pickup is good.. but if you are comparing to the sportsbike.. it does feel a little under power.

The bike is easy to operate and easy to manuver. my smile goes from left to right while riding.. i felt secured and stable on the new ride.

Low CG bike but it doesnt really help if the suspension is set to soft. Its quite dangerous when you are doing a big bend. I've initially set suspension to almost softest due to my height but set it back to original after the scary bends along AYE.
The most scary part for me will be the uturns especially those 2 lane turns.. As i'm tiptoeing to my max and some phobias on uturns.. will try my best not to do uturns until i get my lowering kit. Have cutted my seat by 2cm.. so i assume my seat height is ard 770mm.. need another inch off to settle my phobia.. well at least i know i wont drop my bike.

Heat: All big bike sure heat up easily, same for the F650GS. But I would say its a lot better than my previous ride Yamaha R6 '05 model. As long as i'm not on heavy traffic jam i wont feel the heat even if i'm at low speed for long distance.

Cons of the bike: zero under seat space. not even for a raincoat. but who cares.. I got 3 boxes. good enuff for short trips but i need a bigger top box if i remove the sides for daily riding... Squeezing between cars is doable but i have to proceed with extra cautions.. not very used to such wide bike between cars and i cant afford a fall, repair will be hell for me.

Pros of the bike: Fuel consumption of cos. The first thing i will check on when i've interest in any bike. Still monitoring but reviews shows 100km/3.5liter which is ard 28km/litre at 90km/h constant but as long as i can get 24km/l on highways i'm happy. The lowest grade petrol for the bike is 87. Cant find this grade in singapore thou but 92 at $1.817/litre is cheap enuff.. I pumped at least a 95 at $1.849/litre and occassionally a 98 on my Super 4 which is ard $1.919/litre. Can you imagine how much i save on trips? =]

Friday, August 8, 2008

2008 Piaggio MP3 500 Review

A few weeks ago I packed up the now-legendary and "soon to be applying for antique vehicle status" MO van with the Benelli you’ll be reading about in an upcoming shootout. I was bound for the secret Piaggio lair to pick up a new scoot. This is where the Fonz gets wet between the knees.
Waiting for me in the wings was a true oddball, and I was itchin’ to take it back to the 23-arce Motorcycle.com Moto-estate on the Malibu coast. Maybe you hadn’t heard of the place yet, but it’s pretty awesome, and all mine. Okay, so I was huffing some exhaust fumes in the rickety van when I dreamed up our fantasy office; nothing unusual there.

The machine I’m hauling is the Piaggio MP3 500i.e. – nothing like your grandma’s scooter, to say the least. I’ve long wanted to ride this three-wheeled machine, ever since its introduction. After being briefed on the MP3 I signed the paperwork, loaded it up and hit the road.



The Piaggio MP3 500’s styling is a cross between a grasshopper and a Transformer.

There’s a bit of a learning curve to getting the MP3 down the road. The tilt/steering lock switch on the right thumb allows the front wheel(s) assembly to swing or tilt. You can disengage it manually or it’ll automatically do so upon take off at about 2000 rpm. Another trick little feature is the rider sensor in the saddle. Like the one in your car that beeps when you or your passenger aren’t wearing the required seatbelts. This mechanical wizardry keeps the throttle from engaging the drivetrain to prevent accidental roll-offs while you might be standing next to the bike. Even at full throttle, it just gurgles without accelerating away if you’re not in the saddle. But sit back in that cushy saddle, punch it, and away you go.

I can just assume this to be one of those features that came about the hard way. Giuseppe came home tired as a dog from the old spaghetti factory and, while unloading his groceries from beneath the saddle, he hung his jacket – or his bag of baguettes – on the throttle before killing the motor and – zoom! – away it went, straight into the canal. Such a combination seems impossible, but stranger things have happened in this world. Thus the saddle sensor was born.



Not your typical little scooter.

What’s that? A banana in the roadway? Not a worry on Fonzie’s face.

The front end consists of an aluminum parallelogram with four arms supporting two steering tubes and cantilevered suspension with 3.3 inches of wheel travel.

There’s also a centerstand attached to the steel-tube framework, but it doesn’t need one, having that third leg… er, um wheel. The MP3 can be brought to a stop and parked upright like a car, yet can share a parking space (as well as a lane here in California) like any two-wheeled motorbike. For the interested buyers out there, when you take delivery of your MP3, tack on a second ramp for any potential moving days. The standard 18” wide one you have now isn’t wide enough to handle the two wheel tracks you’ll now own.

If Darth Vader Had a Scooter

When I finally got the MP3 out of the van and got to test riding it, I learned a lot, fast. A man gets hungry with all the rigorous testing we do; deserving a fine chicken wing every now and then. So there I sat in the takeout lobby of my local restaurant, questioning stuff about the machine, Googling Piaggio on my iPhone. I found out Piaggio is based in Pontedera, Italy, and produces seven brands of scooters and motorcycles, including Moto Guzzi, Aprilia and Vespa. As the fourth-largest producer of scooters and motorcycles in the world, the company pumps outs more than 600,000 vehicles annually, with five R&D centers, more than 6,700 employees and operations in over 50 countries. This 493cc MP3 is the largest of three in Piaggio’s lineup of three-wheeled scoots.

Eventually I noticed a padlock-branded button on the MP3’s automobile-like key. Unsure what it was for, I was afraid to push it for fear of watching the scoot tip over from 20 feet away. So I waited for my spicy Asian midnight snack (We’re hoping the Fonz is talking about food here. –Ed.) before seeing what this button on the key fob would do. I tried it when I was within catching distance of the trike, unsure if perhaps it unlocked the tilt mechanism for some emergency failsafe reason.

After pushing the button I hear an audible schlunk but nothing else happens. Again, click, schlunk. It sounds like car doors unlocking. Without there being a trunk as with the MP3 400 model, the saddle is the only remaining “openable” part, so I pushed the button and grabbed the seat to find that it’s now unlocked. Nice. A remote unlock for the saddle is not what I expected to find, but in went the wings and I rode off. The saddle can also be opened by rotating the key in the ignition.

For the experienced rider, the extra contact patch of a second wheel up front is going to be a fun addition to the grocery getting. The MP3 can be pushed into deep lean angles without fear of the abrupt step-outs common to single-track front ends. In the canyons, the two tracks make for increased mental security, with one wheel perhaps in a grease track and the other cleanly gripping the road.

For the newbies to motorcycling or scootering, they may never notice the added weight and roadway feedback from the dual front wheels. Steering transitions are super smooth and as nimble and accurate as any “regular” bike. Despite its pair of wheels up front, the tilting MP3 handles nothing like the three-wheeled Can-Am Spyder, as the MP3’s second front wheel is barely noticeable to a motorcycle operator.

Like riding a Hayabusa compared to a GSX-R, the steering feels a little heavy for the first few rides. The scale of the front end – containing all that steering science – is intimidating only at first but melts away with the first few gallons of gas, as does the nearly 560 pounds of claimed wet weight.



Although you didn’t see me riding the MP3 harder than a CBR up here, it happened.

The three-wheeled MP3 goes around corners like a motorcycle thanks to some innovative engineering.

Features we received on our euro-spec test model that you may not see include a passing light toggle paired to the high-beam switch and a dashboard speedo in kilometers. The handbag/man purse/grocery bag hook behind the fairing and between your knees is rather European feeling as well. Nice additions, in our opinion. Further storage is found beneath the saddle as it is on many other scooters; enough for only one full-face helmet or two half shells. And stuffed into the carcass of the saddle is a handy rain cover.

Ergonomics are upright and more like a standard motorcycle than the cruiser-type foot-forward riding position of my old Honda Elite or a Suzuki Burgman. What’s stranger than having an extra wheel out front - saving you from oil spills and bad line choices - is the basic scootering principles of not downshifting or braking with your feet. Once you get past that, the twist–and-go CVT transmission makes it all fun and games.

'This thing turns heads of the young, old, rich and impoverished.'

The strange looks from the gathering crowd around you take a little longer to fade. My neighbor calls it tough looking, while the guys at the camera store find it “funny but not unlikable.” Surely the couple riding the Suzuki SV hated the looks of a scooter passing them on the freeway. I think the gang at the LA Accordion Festival is going to love it – I hear they’re big fans of tilting three-wheeled fun. In Los Angeles, the MP3 makes a great ride for “being seen.” If you’re an actor/waiter looking for your big break but can’t afford the sixty-five grand to drop on a GG Quadster, consider the MP3 and you’re sure to stick out in the growing sea of scooters. This thing turns heads of the young, old, rich and impoverished. Yes, I even got a few thumbs up from the hobos in Santa Monica.

All that steering science refers to the revolutionary parallelogram front end. It uses an automobile-like double-wishbone aluminum suspension system supporting two independent steering columns. Suspension travel from the front electro-hydraulic suspension is 3.35 inches. Additional performance-oriented equipment comes in the shape Michelin Pilot Sport SC tires spooned on to the 12-inch front wheels. The rear swingarm is sprung with two hydraulic shock absorbers that provide 4.3 inches of travel to the 14-inch rear wheel. It all adds up to a scooter that can lean and steer into a corner as a single-track motorcycle does, and remarkably well we might add.

On the right canyon road, it’s like skiing through the trees, holding your line with your outside foot (wheel) instead of your inside leg’s ski edge. Back and forth is wicked fun –like skiing’s giant slalom racing. At booger-picking speeds, like when maneuvering in a parking lot, a rider feels the added balancing help of the third wheel. The steering feels heavier than typical scooters, but the impression is one of extra stability.



Looking a bit like the unlikely offspring of a Hummer and a scooter, the MP3 500 has a butch appearance.

At speed, the MP3 is as stable as any other streetbike out there, never mind the more flighty feeling of many other scooters. Having a third leg, so to speak, helps to keep the scooter-average 61-inch wheelbase securely planted with 50% more front rubber on the road. Boasting a 40-degree lean angle, the MP3 is great fun on twisty roads outside of city limits, although the centerstand scrapes the road surface in left-hand turns – you’ll hear it in the video. It can be a dangerous hard-part to touch down. Just ask our pal Pete what happens when you unintentionally unweight the rear wheel in a turn… (Pete denies everything. –Ed.) Carving through the turns is much like a cruiser: casual, laidback and easy on the wrists.



Pete kindly displays the lowest point of the chassis for us.

If you’re quick with your right thumb, you can learn to ride around without ever putting your feet on the ground. With the aid of the tilt-lock lever on the right-side hand controls, opposite and similar to a turnsignal switch, you can manually lock and unlock the scooter’s leaning ability. Be careful, though, as the MP3 has the ability to lock at any angle. That’s handy for parking on a hill in San Francisco but dangerous when you lock yourself into a carving line when you want to be riding straight after stopping. If you’re not fully upright when you hit the switch, you might be aimed in an undesirable trajectory. I’ve found there’s a moment between coming to a full stop and tipping over where you can balance yourself as if on your BMX bike at the starting gate, floating.

'The MP3 in the 500cc variety is comfortable and capable on both the local road and the highways.'

Punch that switch and believe in the system. A beep will sound to tell you it’s locked, all within milliseconds. With your feet on the boards, you can ride away by simply twisting the throttle. At 2,000 rpm you’re already moving and balanced, and the system unlocks itself. Magic!

With the MP3’s ability to stand upright when the front wheel mechanism is locked in place, your mind may start to wander at stop lights now that you’re not thinking about the simple act of balancing a two-wheeled machine. You might start to ponder things like why the classic rock band Boston choose to name itself after the baked beans, or how much toothpaste you have left in your travel bag’s tube of Colgate. It’s amazing what a time waster keeping yourself upright at a stop light can be!

If you choose to keep the tilt mechanism unlocked, you’ll notice that the tilt indicator light on the dash blinks at low to no speed so as to remind you that you’re in control of the leaning. It’s a good idea to remind us, but once our attention is on watching the loser in the Nova making a U-turn in the intersection in front of us, our periphery vision keeps noticing the blinking light. It makes our left thumbs habitually stab at the turnsignal switch as if we’re seeing an uncancelled turnsignal. It won’t go away. This distraction thankfully diminishes with time, as it’s kind of unsettling to think I’m the choad with the blinker on when I don’t plan to make a turn.

The MP3 in the 500cc variety is comfortable and capable on both the local road and the highways. “It never feels really swift during acceleration,” says our Ed-in-Cheese Kevin Duke, “but it easily scampers away from stop lights ahead of typical automobile acceleration. The CVT blunts the snap of the injected 500cc Single, but it nonetheless gets up to speed fairly quick.”

When riding the MP3, we were amazed at how much fun we could have with the 40 horsepower claimed at the crankshaft which peaks at 7250 rpm. No need to be afraid of the SoCal freeway traffic, as the MP3 is actually capable of posting triple-digit figures on its speedo. It’s happiest cruising at 70 mph just over halfway through its rev range at 5500 rpm, right at the claimed 31 ft-lb peak of its torque curve. A rough idle and some cold-bloodedness are the engine’s only real flaws. We averaged 54 mpg during our heavy-handed time with the MP3, which gives it a usable 150-plus-mile range from its 3.2-gallon tank.



An engineering marvel deserving of such terrific sunlight. Our test unit was painted in its Demon Black livery, but it’s also available in Passion Red.

When it comes to stopping, it’s all hands on deck. Since there’s no clutch mechanism to manage, the MP3 has dual hand levers for individually controlling your braking prowess. I say prowess because not only do you get 50% more front-end traction, but you also get 50% more stopping power with the extra brake set up front. Dual 240mm steel discs work with a pair of two-piston calipers, while the rear end has a slightly larger rotor, 280mm, with a floating 2-piston caliper. Piaggio says the MP3 requires 20% less braking distance than best-in-class two-wheel scooters. We can believe it, as the MP3 can be braked harder than you might expect.

“The front suspension dives minimally,” says Duke, “And a rider has the confidence that the front tires aren’t going to unexpectedly and dramatically slide out, inevitably causing a spill. Quite impressive.”

Despite having rather standard suspension travel for a scooter, the ride still gets a little rough after a few hours of canyon or freeway riding. The complex and weighty front end is more difficult to control smoothly, plus the MP3 has double the opportunity to find road imperfections with its front wheels. Still, I managed to ride 100 miles before I began thinking about the bumps in the road, so it’s not a major issue for a scooter rider’s typical commuting scenario. The large frontal area offers lots of wind protection.

Piaggio describes the MP3 as “a revolution on three wheels,” and we’d have to agree. The added confidence gained in the corners and during braking are the major benefits of this leaning-trike layout. In addition, its eye-catching and innovative design is very appealing and turns its rider into an instant celebrity. Its $8,899 MSRP might scare off a few budget-conscious scooterists, but it’s not unreasonable for a cool, freeway-capable machine that is blessed with the stability offered by an extra front wheel.




from motorcycle.com

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fuoco 500 - Scorched Earth Around

The two-ring brand now runs on three wheels.

With show-stopping looks and top performance, the Fuoco 500ie is the Gilera version of the three-wheeler for people who want to stand out. ‘Safe fun’ is no longer an oxymoron. Riding has never been this easy, enjoyable and secure.


Passion, adventure and innovation have always been the Gilera watchwords, on asphalt racetracks and desert sand dunes alike.
The Gilera Fuoco 500ie expresses these concepts to perfection.
Two front wheels and a revolutionary parallelogram front suspension together with the new double ignition Master 500ie engine give the Gilera Fuoco very racy performance to provide fast-riding fun in all safety

Easy on the eye

The Gilera Fuoco’s innovative looks get its rider noticed. The front end of the Gilera Fuoco 500ie is attention grabbing: its decisive shape expresses strength and character and hints at the incredible performance of the all-new 492cc single cylinder engine. The two-wheel frontal is marked by a steel tube bumper with metal mesh inserts that give the vehicle a rugged look. The front design protects the rider and the mechanicals while putting the unique front suspension technology on display. Other wicked touches are the sleek ‘naked’ metal handlebar and black ten-spoke wheel rims. The five-lamp headlight unit is not only striking to look at but highly effective as well; the two biggest lamps are equipped with off-road-style shockproof covers. The front fairing and front shield fairing offer remarkable aerodynamic protection. There is a wide, comfortable footrest panel behind the front shield fairing.

The tail design is stark and minimalist, a mix of plastics and tubes that picks up on the styling of the frontal with a very useful rear rack, while the wide, comfortable seat ensures total comfort for both rider and passenger thanks to its ergonomic design and negligible height difference between the two parts of the seat.


A thrilling ride

But there’s more than design to the personality of the Gilera Fuoco. The latest product from the two-ring brand boasts top engine performance, ideally backed up by revolutionary running gear to provide astonishing ride quality. The Gilera Fuoco 500ie streaks away from traffic lights and takes all kinds of terrain in its stride, handling twisty mountain roads and long motorway rides in all safety whatever the weather conditions thanks to its two front wheels commanded by an extraordinary parallelogram front suspension. This revolutionary technical set-up ensures impeccable road holding in all riding conditions, with stability and braking power that no conventional scooter can provide.


Technology

The steel tube frame conceals the powerful, reliable new Master 500ie double ignition engine, a 4 valve, 4 stroke unit with electronic injection and liquid cooling. The capacity of the new Master engine has been upped to 492 cc to obtain maximum power of 40 hp at 7,250 rpm and maximum torque of over 42 Nm at 5,500 rpm. The introduction of the twin spark system has also made it possible to optimise combustion inside the cylinder, with a reduction in noise and gas emissions. The result is a smooth, high-performance engine, very torquey at low and medium range rpm, that takes the Gilera Fuoco 500ie to a top speed of nearly 145 km/h while fully respecting Euro 3 norms thanks to the advanced closed loop injection circuit with a Lambda sensor and three-way catalytic converter in the exhaust pipe.

The engine’s exuberance is skilfully managed by the sophisticated running gear. The innovative parallelogram front suspension’s tilt mechanism is composed of four cast aluminium arms, with four hinges fixed to the central tube and two guide tubes on either side of the parallelogram, connected to the arms via suspension pins and ball bearings. This means that the Gilera Fuoco 500ie is as easy to ride as a traditional scooter, while its incredible stability, especially when cornering and braking, comes from its two front wheels.

Standard equipment includes an electro-hydraulic front suspension locking system that keeps the Fuoco 500ie upright without a central stand. This makes it extremely easy to park anywhere. What’s more, there’s no need to put your feet on the ground to keep your balance when stopped at a traffic light.

Optimal rear end stability is guaranteed by a 14” rear wheel with a generous 140/70 tyre, while three 240mm disk brakes with dual-piston calipers ensure fast, efficient braking.

With its strong personality, aggressive design and cutting-edge technology, this three-wheeler is ready to ride into uncharted territory.
Gilera Fuoco: a thrilling ride that’s easy on the eye.

Colours and accessories

The Fuoco 500ie will be on sale in a choice of colours: metallic Emotion Red or Excalibur Grey, and matt metallic Demon Black.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Indian's 2009 Models Are On Deck


Specs released for the new Indian Chief in 4 trim levels


A quick look at the business pages would have most of us believing it's a bad time to roll out an ultra-premium motorcycle. Consumer confidence is flagging, the market's tanking and motorcycle sales just aren't what they used to be - to put it mildly. But then, Stephen Julius isn't most of us. Julius, the chairman of Indian Motorcycle - the newest version of it - has said in the past that "I want to build the Bentley of motorcycles. "We've tried to understand what the Indian means to the consumer and translate that in a physical product."

We'll have a chance to see how close he came this summer, when the latest incarnation of the Indian Chief is revealed to an impatient public. Meanwhile, the new Indian, now based in Kings Mountain, N.C., has released more details and rough specifications on the models it will soon be launching - including the aforementioned Chief, in four spec versions - though the launch date itself has yet to be revealed.


When London-based Stellican Limited bought the trademarks and related intellectual property of America's oldest and most iconic motorcycle brand in July 2004, it had said it was expecting to have new product out by 2007. Five years on we're still waiting, though it looks like we're pretty close to the pot of gold.

The very first Indian motorcycle hit the street in 1901, and today any early Indian would be part of a dream garage. The original iconic manufacturer went out of business in 1953, and the next generation of machines was jumpstarted by California Motorcycle Co. in 1999, after it purchased the Indian trademark. The "Gilroy Indians", as they were called (the company was headquartered in Gilroy, California), were based mostly around newer versions of the Chief but featured off-the-shelf S&S engines, which never really appealed to purists. The company hit the skids in late 2003 after the completion of an all-new engine design, the 100ci PowerPlus. By then the money had run out, and it was too little too late.

This time around, Indian is shooting for a production number of 750 bikes a year and privately held Stellican is playing with their own money (which they have plenty of). Buyers will likely be enthusiasts who are buying an Indian as their second bike or because they want a heritage brand.


Julius also says the new bike may well reflect the lines of the traditional Chief, but "In terms of the engineering, it will be a radically different bike from the bike that was produced through 2003."

Not to worry - there are plenty of Indian loyalists out there watching to make sure it's a worthy successor.

The official release follows:

News Brief: 2009 Indian Chief Motorcycle
Kings Mountain, NC-The long-anticipated introduction of the all-new 2009 Indian Chief motorcycle is approaching. As the launch date draws near (although it is yet to be announced), more details about the renaissance of this iconic American motorcycle brand are being revealed. This much is clear: the new Indian Motorcycle Company is taking a wholly different and measured approach to engineering, development and marketing of the new Indian Chief.

Founded in 1901, the legendary Indian brand remains America's first motorcycle and is highly revered. Chairman Stephen Julius and President Steve Heese have orchestrated the re-launch of Indian. Under General Manager Chris Bernauer, an eleven-year veteran of Harley-Davidson, the Indian Motorcycle team has maintained a sharp focus on product development, design and engineering excellence.


"We're very excited about the new Indian Chief which are, in every way, both true to the legacy of the Indian brand and representative of the highest level of engineering expertise" according to Mr. Bernauer. "Indian aficionados everywhere will be pleased with these superior motorcycles which effectively blend timeless Indian design with contemporary motorcycle performance."

For the past few years, Indian Motorcycle's engineering staff, led by VP of Engineering Nick Glaja, have logged thousands of hours developing, evaluating and refining each and every engineering detail. Rigorous testing continues until each component has proven its durability and performance. There will be no rush to market. Mr. Glaja, also a motorcycling industry veteran, was Principal Engineer of Powertrain Technology at Harley-Davidson before joining Indian.

Mr. Glaja says "Our goal was quite simple: to focus on the premium nature of this brand and build the finest Indian motorcycle ever. We took a 'clean sheet' approach to the engineering of this world class American legend to ensure a solid engineering platform. Benchmarks were set high and we believe our customers will be very happy."

At the heart of the process has been an unrelenting emphasis on quality and craftsmanship. No details have been overlooked or considered too minor to be discussed and evaluated. The final assembly of each Indian Chief takes place at Kings Mountain by a team of technicians known for the passionate pursuit of their craft.

An overriding sense of reverence pervades Indian headquarters. There is an enormous sense of pride in being a part of the rebirth of Indian Motorcycle and that feeling translates into an attention to detail and genuine care for each and every component. Assembly is both loving and methodical, with obvious care taken to produce the finest Indian motorcycles the world has ever seen.

The new Indian Chief motorcycles are rightfully positioned as premium products and will be produced in limited numbers, with the focus on outstanding quality, performance and exclusivity. Limited production will ensure the highest level of quality is maintained and owners will be certain to enjoy the enduring value of an extraordinary new Indian Chief as well as true appreciation of ownership exclusivity.

The new Indian motorcycles are designed and engineered to be powerful works of art. The 2009 Indian Chief features a redesigned 105 cubic inch PowerPlus V-Twin powertrain with electronic closed loop sequential port fuel injection. A new charging system provides increased capacity for the EFI.

Engine cylinders are Nikasil plated, eliminating the need for cast-iron liners. A new crankshaft eliminates "scissoring". The exhaust system is a new design with integrated 3-way catalytic converter and heated oxygen sensors. All body parts are e-coated and the frame and swingarm are e-coated and powder coated for enhanced corrosion protection.

A six-speed transmission delivers power through the belt drive to 16-inch wheels out back. Stopping is achieved via Brembo 4-piston calipers, with 11.5" dual rotors up front. Standard 5.5-gallon tank helps extend cruising range. Seats are all-leather and built to exacting specifications. But specs don't even begin to tell the story of what it's like to ride an Indian. It's simply awe-inspiring.

For 2009, Indian will offer four Chief models: Chief Standard, Chief Deluxe, Chief Roadmaster and Chief Vintage. As befits these limited-edition masterworks, base prices will range from $30,999 for the Standard to $31,999 for the Deluxe and $33,999 for the Roadmaster to $35,499 for the Chief Vintage. Primary differences between models are in levels of trim, seating configurations, fender design, paint combinations, and included accessories. (Individual spec sheets and images are included separately in this kit.)

The exciting reality for all motorcycle enthusiasts is that the 2009 Indian Chiefs are so much more than the sum of their parts. Each model is an integrated whole, the result of superior engineering and a reflection of achievement well beyond incremental improvement. The 2009 Indian Chiefs are all-new and a dramatic extension of the Indian Motorcycle legacy, certain to take their place in motorcycle history.

Given the ultra premium nature of the Indian Motorcycle brand, Indian will be very selective in judging the quality and number of dealers. By the end of 2008, it is expected that no more than thirty dealerships will be in place-primarily in top motorcycle markets. A new stand-alone dealership design of 10,000 square foot will be the flagship in major markets, although it is likely that these new structures will not be completed until sometime in 2009.

At present, Indian dealers are already staged for opening for Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Denver, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles, with an additional twelve applications being processed. It should also be mentioned that the emotional appeal, value and power of the Indian brand will soon result in the launch and merchandising of the highest quality line of motorcycle apparel and accessories in the industry. Indian Motorcycle Apparel will launch the line this summer. Items will be available for purchase through dealerships, online at http://www.indianmotorcycle.com and at specialty retail stores.

In subsequent years, Indian plans to expand its dealer network to additional markets. Superior engineering, quality and performance, the incredible history and present-day cache of the Indian brand, the exclusivity factor, an obsession with customer satisfaction and a commitment to long term slow-growth and success are expected to serve Indian Motorcycle Company well into the future.

2009 Chief Standard
Note: All specification subject to change

FEATURES
STYLING
. Chromed tear drop Halogen Headlamp
. Auxilliary driving lamps
. Die cast console - color matched
. Black and polished engine with chrome covers
. Chromed spoke wheels
. Available billet wheels
. Two into one stainless steel exhaust system with three way catalytic
converter and chromed shields
. Available long skirt fenders

POWERTRAIN
. Air cooled, pushrod, Power Plus 105ci engine
. Closed loop, sequential, port injection with heated oxygen sensors
. Six speed transmission

CHASSIS
. Seat: Solo seat available in black and tan leather
. 5.5 gallon fuel tank
. Brembo brake system with dual floating rotors and 4 piston calipers in the front and single floating rotor and two piston caliper in the rear.
. Two accessory 12 V outlets

ELECTRICAL
. Tank mounted analog speedometer and multi function digital display
. Charging system 42 Amps
. Lamps: Tear drop head lamp, glass front fender light, auxilliary spot lights
. There are no electrical relays in the system


SPECIFICATIONS

DIMENSIONS
Length 100.5"
Width 40.5"
Height 50.5"
Seat Height Laden 26.69"
Seat Height Unladen 27.89"
Wheelbase 68.4"
Dry Weight
(will vary for each model)
738 lbs
Running Order Weight 773 lbs
Rake Steering Head/Trail 34?/5.92"
GVW - Gross Vehicle Weight 1260 lbs

ENGINE
Engine Type Power Plus 105, Air-Cooled
Displacement 105 Cubic Inches
Bore x Stroke 3.966 x 4.25
Compression Ratio 9 to 1
Engine Torque 100 ft*lbs (TBD)
Fuel System Closed Loop Sequential Port Fuel
Injection

DRIVETRAIN
Primary Drive Chain
Gearbox Six Speed
Gear Ratio (overall)
1st 10.441:1
2nd 7.090:1
3rd 5.172:1
4th 3.984:1
5th 3.193:1
6th 2.771:1
Final Drive Belt

CHASSIS
Frame High tensile steel, rear monoshock
Suspension/Front Diameter 41 mm/Travel 108 mm
Suspension/Rear Single shock/travel 73 mm
Brakes/Front Dual Caliper with Floating Rotors
11.5" Diameter
Brakes/Rear Single Caliper Floating Rotor
11.5" Diameter
Tires/Front 130/90-16 Black
Tires/Rear 150/90-16 Black
Wheels Wire spoked
Exhaust System Two Into One Stainless Steel With Chromed Shields

ELECTRICAL
Electrical Instruments Tank mounted analog speedometer and muti function digital display
Charging System 42 Amps
Lamps Tear drop head lamp, glass front fender light, auxillary spot lights.

WARRANTY
2 Years

PRICING
$30,999

STANDARD COLORS
Thunder Black with Silver Script
Thunder Black with Silver Head Dress

AVAILABLE COLORS
$199 Indian Red with Gold Script
$199 Indian Red with Gold Head Dress

STANDARD EQUIPMENT
Short Fenders
Solo Seat, Black Leather

AVAILABLE EQUIPMENT
$499 Long Fenders
$999 Billet Wheels
$99 Tan Leather Seat



2009 Chief Vintage

FEATURES
Note: All specification subject to change

STYLING
. Chromed tear drop Halogen Headlamp
. Auxilliary driving lamps
. Die cast console - color matched
. Black and polished engine with chrome covers
. Chromed spoke wheels
. Available billet wheels
. Two into one stainless steel exhaust system with three way catalytic converter and chromed shields
. Available short skirt fenders and dual tone paint
. Metal tank badge
. Chrome fender tips (not pictured)
. Chrome brake calipers (not pictured)
. Chrome engine guards (not pictured)

POWERTRAIN
. Air cooled, pushrod Power Plus 105ci engine
. Closed loop, sequential, port injection with heated oxygen sensors
. Six speed transmission

CHASSIS
. Seat: Solo seat with passenger pillion, available in black, tan and red leather with fringe
. Chrome grab rail
. 5.5 gallon fuel tank
. Brembo brake system with dual floating rotors and 4 piston calipers in the front and single floating rotor and two piston caliper in the rear.
. Two accessory 12 V outlets
. Tinted windshield
. Saddle bags available in black, tan, or red leather with fringe

ELECTRICAL
. Tank mounted analog speedometer and multi function digital display
. Charging system 42 Amps
. Lamps: Tear drop head lamp, glass front fender light, auxilliary spot lights
. There are no electrical relays in the system

SPECIFICATIONS

DIMENSIONS
Length 100.5"
Width 40.5"
Height 50.5"
Seat Height Laden 26.69"
Seat Height Unladen 27.89"
Wheelbase 68.4"
Dry Weight
(will vary for each model)
738 lbs
Running Order Weight 773 lbs
Rake Steering Head/Trail 34?/5.92"
GVW - Gross Vehicle Weight 1260 lbs

ENGINE
Engine Type Power Plus 105, Air-Cooled
Displacement 105 Cubic Inches
Bore x Stroke 3.966 x 4.25
Compression Ratio 9 to 1
Engine Torque 100 ft*lbs (TBD)
Fuel System Closed Loop Sequential Port Fuel Injection

DRIVETRAIN
Primary Drive Chain
Gearbox Six Speed
Gear Ratio (overall)
1st 10.441:1
2nd 7.090:1
3rd 5.172:1
4th 3.984:1
5th 3.193:1
6th 2.771:1
Final Drive Belt

CHASSIS
Frame High tensile steel, monoshock
Suspension/Front Diameter 41 mm/Travel 108 mm
Suspension/Rear Single shock/travel 73 mm
Brakes/Front Dual Caliper with Floating Rotors
11.5" Diameter
Brakes/Rear Single Caliper Floating Rotor
11.5" Diameter
Tires/Front 130/90-16 White Wall
Tires/Rear 150/90-16 White Wall
Wheels Wire spoked
Exhaust System Two Into One Stainless Steel With Chromed Shields

ELECTRICAL
Electrical Instruments Tank mounted analog speedometer and muti function digital display
Charging System 42 Amps
Lamps Tear drop head lamp, glass front fender light, auxillary spot lights.

WARRANTY
2 Years

PRICING
$35,499 delivery, set up and local taxes not included

STANDARD COLORS
Thunder Black

AVAILABLE COLORS
$199 Indian Red
$899 Thunder Black & Winter White
$899 Midnight Blue Metallic & Winter White
$899 Thunder Black & Indian Red
$899 Willow Green & Ivory Cream
Indian Red & Ivory Cream
Navajo Turquose & Winter White

STANDARD EQUIPMENT
Long Fenders
Metal Tank Badge
Solo Seat w/ Passenger Pillion, Black Leather
Vintage Leather Saddlebags, Black
Tinted Windshield
Leather Fringe
Chrome Grab Rail
Chrome Fender Tips

AVAILABLE EQUIPMENT
Short Fenders
Black Wall Tires
$999 Billet Wheels
$99 Red Leather Seat & Saddlebags
$99 Tan Leather Seat & Saddlebags



2009 Chief Roadmaster

FEATURES
Note: All specification subject to change

STYLING
. Two accessory 12 V outlets
. Chromed tear drop Halogen Headlamp
. Quick release windshield
. Auxilliary driving lamps
. Roadmaster saddle bags available in black, tan and red leather with
. Die cast console - color matched or without fringe
. Black and polished engine with chrome covers
. Chromed spoke wheels

ELECTRICAL
. Available billet wheels
. Tank mounted analog speedometer and multi function
. Two into one stainless steel exhaust system with three way catalytic digital display converter and chromed shields . Charging system 42 Amps
. Available long skirt fenders and dual tone paint
. Lamps: Tear drop head lamp, glass front fender light, auxilliary
. Chrome brake calipers (not pictured) spot lights
. There are no electrical relays in the system

POWERTRAIN
. Air cooled, pushrod Power Plus 105ci engine
. Closed loop, sequential, port injection heated oxygen sensors
. Six speed transmission

CHASSIS
. Seat: Luxury touring seat available in black, tan and red leather with or without fringe
. Matching Passenger Backrest
. 5.5 gallon fuel tank
. Brembo brake system with dual floating rotors and 4 piston calipers in the front and single floating rotor and two piston caliper in the rear.

SPECIFICATIONS

DIMENSIONS
Note: All specification subject to change

Length 100.5"
Width 40.5"
Height 50.5"
Seat Height Laden 26.69"
Seat Height Unladen 27.89"
Wheelbase 68.4"
Dry Weight
(will vary for each model)
738 lbs
Running Order Weight 773 lbs
Rake Steering Head/Trail 34?/5.92"
GVW - Gross Vehicle Weight 1260 lbs

ENGINE
Engine Type Power Plus 105, Air-Cooled
Displacement 105 Cubic Inches
Bore x Stroke 3.966 x 4.25
Compression Ratio 9 to 1
Engine Torque 100 ft*lbs (TBD)
Fuel System Closed Loop Sequential Port Fuel Injection

DRIVETRAIN
Primary Drive Chain
Gearbox Six Speed
Gear Ratio (overall)
1st 10.441:1
2nd 7.090:1
3rd 5.172:1
4th 3.984:1
5th 3.193:1
6th 2.771:1
Final Drive Belt

CHASSIS Frame
High tensile steel, monoshock
Suspension/Front Diameter 41 mm/Travel 108 mm
Suspension/Rear Single shock/travel 73 mm
Brakes/Front Dual Caliper with Floating Rotors
11.5" Diameter
Brakes/Rear Single Caliper Floating Rotor
11.5" Diameter
Tires/Front 130/90-16 Black or White Wall
Tires/Rear 150/90-16 Black or White Wall
Wheels Wire spoked
Exhaust System Two Into One Stainless Steel With
Chromed Shields

ELECTRICAL
Electrical Instruments Tank mounted analog speedometer and muti function digital display
Charging System 42 Amps
Lamps Tear drop head lamp, glass front fender light, auxillary spot lights.

WARRANTY
2 Years

PRICING
$33,999 Delivery, set up and local taxes not included

STANDARD COLORS
Thunder Black with Silver Script
Thunder Black with Silver Head Dress

AVAILABLE COLORS
$199 Indian Red with Gold Script
$199 Indian Red with Gold Head Dress
$899 Thunder Black & Winter White w/ Silver Head Dress
$899 Midnight Blue Metallic & Winter White w/ Silver Head Dress
$899 Thunder Black & Indian Red w/ Gold Head Dress
$899 Smoke Silver Metallic & Winter White w/ Silver Head Dress

STANDARD EQUIPMENT
Short Fenders
Two Up Seat, Black Leather
Roadmaster Leather Saddlebags, Black
Passenger Backrest
Windshield

AVAILABLE EQUIPMENT
$499 Long Fenders
$99 White Wall Tires
$999 Billet Wheels
$99 Red Leather Seat & Saddlebags
$99 Tan Leather Seat & Saddlebags
$99 Leather Fringe



2009 Chief Vintage

FEATURES
Note: All specification subject to change

STYLING
. Chromed tear drop Halogen Headlamp
. Auxilliary driving lamps
. Die cast console - color matched
. Black and polished engine with chrome covers
. Chromed spoke wheels
. Available billet wheels
. Two into one stainless steel exhaust system with three way catalytic converter and chromed shields
. Available short skirt fenders and dual tone paint
. Metal tank badge
. Chrome fender tips (not pictured)
. Chrome brake calipers (not pictured)
. Chrome engine guards (not pictured)

POWERTRAIN
. Air cooled, pushrod Power Plus 105ci engine
. Closed loop, sequential, port injection with heated oxygen sensors
. Six speed transmission

CHASSIS
. Seat: Solo seat with passenger pillion, available in black, tan and red leather with fringe
. Chrome grab rail
. 5.5 gallon fuel tank
. Brembo brake system with dual floating rotors and 4 piston calipers in the front and single floating rotor and two piston caliper in the rear.
. Two accessory 12 V outlets
. Tinted windshield
. Saddle bags available in black, tan, or red leather with fringe

ELECTRICAL
. Tank mounted analog speedometer and multi function digital display
. Charging system 42 Amps
. Lamps: Tear drop head lamp, glass front fender light, auxilliary spot lights
. There are no electrical relays in the system

SPECIFICATIONS

DIMENSIONS
Length 100.5"
Width 40.5"
Height 50.5"
Seat Height Laden 26.69"
Seat Height Unladen 27.89"
Wheelbase 68.4"
Dry Weight
(will vary for each model)
738 lbs
Running Order Weight 773 lbs
Rake Steering Head/Trail 34?/5.92"
GVW - Gross Vehicle Weight 1260 lbs

ENGINE
Engine Type Power Plus 105, Air-Cooled
Displacement 105 Cubic Inches
Bore x Stroke 3.966 x 4.25
Compression Ratio 9 to 1
Engine Torque 100 ft*lbs (TBD)
Fuel System Closed Loop Sequential Port Fuel Injection

DRIVETRAIN
Primary Drive Chain
Gearbox Six Speed
Gear Ratio (overall)
1st 10.441:1
2nd 7.090:1
3rd 5.172:1
4th 3.984:1
5th 3.193:1
6th 2.771:1
Final Drive Belt

CHASSIS
Frame High tensile steel, monoshock
Suspension/Front Diameter 41 mm/Travel 108 mm
Suspension/Rear Single shock/travel 73 mm
Brakes/Front Dual Caliper with Floating Rotors
11.5" Diameter
Brakes/Rear Single Caliper Floating Rotor
11.5" Diameter
Tires/Front 130/90-16 White Wall
Tires/Rear 150/90-16 White Wall
Wheels Wire spoked
Exhaust System Two Into One Stainless Steel With Chromed Shields

ELECTRICAL
Electrical Instruments Tank mounted analog speedometer and muti function digital display
Charging System 42 Amps
Lamps Tear drop head lamp, glass front fender light, auxillary spot lights.

WARRANTY
2 Years
PRICING
$35,499 delivery, set up and local taxes not included
STANDARD COLORS
Thunder Black

AVAILABLE COLORS
$199 Indian Red
$899 Thunder Black & Winter White
$899 Midnight Blue Metallic & Winter White
$899 Thunder Black & Indian Red
$899 Willow Green & Ivory Cream
Indian Red & Ivory Cream
Navajo Turquose & Winter White

STANDARD EQUIPMENT
Long Fenders
Metal Tank Badge
Solo Seat w/ Passenger Pillion, Black Leather
Vintage Leather Saddlebags, Black
Tinted Windshield
Leather Fringe
Chrome Grab Rail
Chrome Fender Tips

AVAILABLE EQUIPMENT
Short Fenders
Black Wall Tires
$999 Billet Wheels
$99 Red Leather Seat & Saddlebags
$99 Tan Leather Seat & Saddlebags

Honda to launch 800cc bike by March 2009

New Delhi, June 30 (IANS)
Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI) will introduce an 800cc bike by the end of this financial year, a senior executive of the company told reporters here Monday while unveiling a new model. HSMI president and chief executive S. Aoyama said the 800cc bike would be one of the two models planned for launch later this year; the other could be either a bike or a scooter.

These would be in addition to the Aviator scooter and the 125cc motorcycle CBF Stunner launched at the Auto Expo 2008 here Monday.

“When we introduced motorcycles in India, we started with smaller engine sizes to cater to the masses. We have been exploring launching bigger motorcycles and this year an 800cc bike will be launched for the Indian market,” he said.

HMSI, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., entered India with its Active scooter in 2000.

“The 800cc bike will be imported from the parent company,” Aoyama told IANS.

Company executives refused to divulge details about the second product to be launched this financial year.

“It is too early to disclose if the other product will be a scooter or a bike,” HMSI sales and marketing head N.K. Rattan said.

The company is also planning to introduce a 100cc motorcycle, which Aoyama said will be in the market by 2010.

Prior to HMSI, Honda had its presence in the country through the join ventures Hero Honda, Honda Siel Cars India, and the erstwhile Kinetic Honda company.

The company sold 907,000 units in the financial year 2007-08, clocking a growth of 27 percent over the 715,000 units sold in 2006-07.

It has now targeted sales of one million scooters and bikes this fiscal. The HMSI plant in Manesar, Gurgaon, has a capacity of 1.1 million units annually ,which Aoyama said goes up to 1.3-1.4 million with “enhanced productivity”.

“We have a target of one million units in sales this year with a split of 700,000 scooters and 300,000 motorcycles,” he said.

“Although we have reached our capacity in the existing plant, we have not made any plans for expansion or setting up a new facility yet,” Aoyama added.

The new bike - ‘CBF Stunner’ - is a 125cc offering from Honda complementing its existing model ‘Shine’ in the same category. The bike will be targeted at the 18-25 age group.

“The USP of the CBF is its looks and styling combined with affordability and a great mileage,” Rattan said.

The motorcycle will have integrated front body cowl and will run on an 11 bhp engine with five-speed transmission. The bike will sport tubeless tyres for both front and back wheels and buyers will have the option to go for 240 mm hydraulic front disc brakes as well drum brakes.

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.

Piaggio Launches Two Plug-In Hybrid Vespa Scooters

Piaggio, the Italian manufacturer of the iconic Vespa scooter, has introduced two plug-in hybrid prototypes based on the standard Vespa LX 50 and X8 125 models.

The HyS (Hybrid Scooter) models are parallel hybrids, combining four-stroke combustion engines with electric motors. The electric motor provides power assist, supplying a 25% boost in power for acceleration over the first few meters (a good feature for lunging through urban traffic), while at the same time supporting a 20% decrease in fuel consumption.

The rider uses all the normal 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
Electric-only


In the first three modes the HyS manages power output from the engine and the motor using a drive-by-wire type system. The electronic management system interprets the rider’s request for more torque and selects the assist ratio based on the battery’s state of charge.

Regenerative braking recharges the batteries.

In standard-hybrid mode the battery charge is maintained at optimal traction levels (batteries at 75%). The high-charge hybrid function is geared to maximize the range of the electric motor (batteries at 95%).

If, on the other hand, the rider wishes to recharge the batteries using the 220V battery charger by plugging into a power outlet, he or she can use the low-charge hybrid mode (batteries at 20%) to obtain maximum performance with minimum consumption. (Charging time is about three hours.)

In electric-only mode, the Piaggio HyS shuts down the combustion engine and turns into a silent, zero-emission electric vehicle—an important consideration for those European cities that are increasingly placing restrictions on emitting vehicles.

The control system not only manages the combined power output of the engine and motor, but also forces the engine to work when it can be most efficient, thereby reducing specific consumption, with advantages in terms of lower consumption and emissions.

The traction batteries are hidden in the under-seat storage space, which is sufficiently large on the X8 125 HyS to also hold a helmet. The Vespa LX 50 HyS hybrid prototype comes with a top case to hold the helmet.

More News on Piaggio HyS

Piaggio Australia announce plans for the HyS hybrid range of scooters in 2008.

Piaggio Australia

Italian manufacturer Piaggio, the maker of Vespa, has launched an environmentally friendly hybrid scooter by mechanically and electronically linking a traditional combustion engine with an electric motor.

The new design, which has a working title of HyS (Hybrid Scooter), allows the petrol engine to work as 'normal', but whenever the rider needs to accelerate more aggressively, the electric motor kicks in, providing about 85 per cent extra performance. The grouping of petrol and electric provides significant reductions in fuel consumption and C02 emissions.

In this dual drive-by-wire type system, a sophisticated electronic management system interprets the rider's request for more power, and selects the level of assistance based on the current level of battery charge. During deceleration, the battery is then recharged, which can also be achieved via a regular electricity source, taking about three hours.

As well as the hybrid set up, riders can also toggle between two other modes on a HyS scooter: electric and petrol. In electric, the combustion engine is completely shut down, and allows a range of up to 20km.

"Scooters already enjoy a low environmental impact and soon owners will be able to further reduce their footprint on the earth," said Piaggio's Brand Manager Simon Gloyne. "Our studies have revealed that potential owners want to do the right thing, but are reluctant about electric-only scooters due to their limited range and inability to take on fresh energy at the drop of a hat. The HyS models will enable owners to have their environmental cake and eat it too."

Piaggio has already produced prototypes of the HyS, based on the Vespa LX and Piaggio X8 and three-wheeled MP3 scooter families. The HyS versions are visually identical to the standard scooters, with the batteries housed in the underseat storage space. There is a battery charge indicator on the respective dashboards.

Piaggio Australia is planning to introduce these new models, although a release date for the revolutionary HyS scooter is yet to be determined.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Gilera Fuoco 500ie

Leading scooter brand Gilera is characterised by passion, innovation and adventure – something the new Gilera Fouco 500ie sums up. Italian for ‘fire’, the Gilera Fuoco delivers a hot performance, going from 0-60mph in under 6 seconds and reaching a top speed of 90mph fuelled by a 500cc, electronically fuel injected, single cylinder, 4 valve, Euro 3 engine - a ride that will set it apart as much as its looks. Scootering has never been this easy, enjoyable and secure.

The Gilera Fuoco’s strong personality is evident at first sight with an aggressive design that is sure to get the rider noticed. The front end of the Gilera Fuoco’s decisive shape expresses the strength and character, hinting at the incredible performance of the all-new 500cc engine hidden beneath. The tail design is stark and minimalist with a useful rear rack, which is large enough to carry a hefty gym bag. The two-wheel frontal is emphasised by a steel tube bumper with metal mesh inserts to create a modern, sporty look, which is complimented by chrome-plated naked handlebars, black ten-spoke alloy wheels and durable, grooved tyre treads reminiscent of off-road bikes.

The five-lamp headlight unit is not only striking to look at, but highly effective as well: the two biggest lamps are equipped with off-road-style shockproof covers and the ash-grey front fairing and front shield fairing offer remarkable wind protection. The bike boasts a wide, comfortable seat which ensures total comfort for both rider and pillion thanks to its ergonomic design and small height difference between the two parts of the seat.

For ease of the rider, the Gilera Fuoco includes an electro-hydraulic front suspension locking system that keeps it upright without a central stand, making it extremely easy to park anywhere. Plus there is no need to put your feet on the ground to keep your balance when stopped at a traffic light!

There’s more than design to the personality of the Gilera Fuoco. The latest machine from Gilera boasts fantastic engine performance so it streaks away at the traffic lights, giving you the edge on other road users. It will handle twisty back roads and long motorway rides whatever the weather conditions, thanks to its two front wheels. With the extraordinary parallelogram front suspension, this revolutionary technical set-up ensures impeccable road holding in all weather, with stability and braking power that no conventional scooter can provide.

The innovative parallelogram front suspension’s tilt mechanism is composed of four cast aluminium arms, with four hinges fixed to the central tube and two guide tubes on either side of the parallelogram, connected to the arms via suspension pins and ball bearings. The Gilera Fuoco 500ie is as easy to ride as a traditional scooter, while it’s incredible stability, especially when cornering and braking, comes from the two front wheels.

Optimal rear end stability is guaranteed by a 14” rear wheel with a generous 140/70 tyre while three 240mm disc brakes with dual-piston callipers ensure fast, efficient braking.

With its strong personality, aggressive design and cutting-edge technology, this three-wheeler is ready to ride into uncharted territory.

The Gilera Fuoco is available in Demon Black and Emotion Red and is priced at £5,499 OTR with one year roadside assistance and two year warranty.

As well as reducing journey times by up to 40% when compared to other forms of urban transport*, free parking is available for scooters across the UK, they are exempt from London’s Congestion Charge, and only cost £46 for a year’s road tax.

European legislation changes take effect in October 2008 which will make it more expensive and difficult to get your full bike licence needed to ride scooters over a 125cc engine displacement, so Now’s The Time to take your test to enjoy the benefits of two wheels on board a Gilera Fuoco 500ie.

To find out further information or locate your nearest Gilera Fuoco dealer, please call 00800 818 29800 or visit the Gilera websitewww.uk.Gilera.com

A window to the future - Honda DN-01

Couragious, with an adventurous spirit and no compromises, the Honda DN-01 explores new frontiers of two-wheel transport, offering a new riding philosophy for the city and on the road. It has an American custom riding position, very sat-down with the legs forward.

The weight and size are quite contained though, with a sports look and automatic transmission that we’d never seen before. It has a practical mix of everything that current riders seem to appreciate: automatic clutch, agressive and modern style, and relaxing, comfortable riding position.

A futuristic touch is added with its form, and next generation transmission which creates an efficient and relaxing riding style. This line reminds us of some motorbikes you see in science fiction films, or those ridden by the demons in the cartoon “Ken”.

The seat is only 690mm off the ground, the fork is a traditional tele-hydraulic one, and the rear shock absorber is placed to the side. The engine comes from the noted Honda Transalp at 680 cc (or from the Deuville if you prefer), equipped with PGM-FI electronic ignition. The engine has been adapted to the fuel supply of this bike and the transmission has been changed to HFT (Human Friendly Transmission).

The hydromechanic transmission with hydraulic clutch is capable of varying torque and the HFT has two automatic modes: ‘D’ for a sweet and classic ride, ‘S’ for more grunt in acceleration, and you can pass from one to the other in an istant. A sequential shift is handled with an ergonomic switch on the left.

Test: Honda DN-01, a window to the future
posted: Tuesday 20 May 2008 by Alison in: Our tests Honda


Couragious, with an adventurous spirit and no compromises, the Honda DN-01 explores new frontiers of two-wheel transport, offering a new riding philosophy for the city and on the road. It has an American custom riding position, very sat-down with the legs forward.

The weight and size are quite contained though, with a sports look and automatic transmission that we’d never seen before. It has a practical mix of everything that current riders seem to appreciate: automatic clutch, agressive and modern style, and relaxing, comfortable riding position.

A futuristic touch is added with its form, and next generation transmission which creates an efficient and relaxing riding style. This line reminds us of some motorbikes you see in science fiction films, or those ridden by the demons in the cartoon “Ken”.



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The seat is only 690mm off the ground, the fork is a traditional tele-hydraulic one, and the rear shock absorber is placed to the side. The engine comes from the noted Honda Transalp at 680 cc (or from the Deuville if you prefer), equipped with PGM-FI electronic ignition. The engine has been adapted to the fuel supply of this bike and the transmission has been changed to HFT (Human Friendly Transmission).

The hydromechanic transmission with hydraulic clutch is capable of varying torque and the HFT has two automatic modes: ‘D’ for a sweet and classic ride, ‘S’ for more grunt in acceleration, and you can pass from one to the other in an istant. A sequential shift is handled with an ergonomic switch on the left.

The ‘S’ riding option has shorter and closer gear ratios, with the margin between D and S being about 500 revs/min. The S ride is more sporty and has more grunt, with greater acceleration force. You can switch between the D and S styles with a button on the left, while a rear control lets you choose the manual mode. The button for the D and S then becomes the gear shift and this is displayed on the instrument panel.

When the engine is switched on, the is automatically in neutral, indicated by a green light. On starting you need to always select the gear otherwise acceleration occurs while the engine is idling. In the manual mode, moving up the gears provides no problems, but when decelerating you can’t choose fifth gear at a speed which is too low, and neither can you select first in a speed at more than 30km/hr. The gear change provides for great acceleration out of corners though, and good deceleration too.

The seat could be more comfortable when taking the full weight of the rider, while the suspension is dynamically good, it’s a little hard when going over potholes. The DN has ABS brakes and the excellent integrated brakes system, made in Honda. The instrument panel has been well done with a narrow look, easy-to-read and which reminds us of the Honda S2000.

Despite the cruising aspect and custom position, the DN-01 is more impressive for its dynamic aspects and riding pleasure: aerodynamic protection is slightly limited, but the bike is agile and easy to manage in city traffic, especially given its steering range. It has 17-inch wheels and good weight distribution, including its sporty wheel base and suspension. In cornering, braking and acceleration we perceived no inbalance.



The large pedals limit slightly the angles for leaning but adjustments can be made, for example lightening the weight on the pedals and adjusting the pivot, for greater lean. A rear wheel at 190/50 means you can play around a little, especially for whoever enjoys a more sports riding style.


Pros: HFT transmission, futuristic look, dynamism and acceleration, innovation and courage.
Cons: Seat and suspension a little hard; limited under-seat storage; plexiglass too low.

Technical Specs:
Engine: twin-cylinder, “V” at 52° 4T
Liquid cooled
Distribution: SOHC at 4 valves per cylinder
Output: 680 cc
Power: 45 kW at 7.500 revs/min
Torque: 64 Nm at 6.000 revs/min
PGM-FI electronic ignition
Honda HFT hydraulic transmission, sequential D/S selection
Frame: double cradle in steel
Seat height: 690 mm
Wheel base: 1.605 mm
Tank capacity: 15.1 lt
Tyres: Front: 130/70×17”, Rear: 190/50×17”

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Piaggio MP3 Review

The Piaggio company, nestled in the Tuscan countryside between Florence and Pisa, first invented scooters in 1946 when it produced the first ever Vespa. Today, Piaggio continues to produce scooters under three brands: the classic Vespa, the sporty Gilera and the contemporary Piaggio.

In Australia, the Piaggio brand offers an extensive range of Italian scooters from 50cc to 500cc. The MP3 400 has an innovative parallelogram front suspension. Its tilt mechanism is composed of four cast aluminium arms, with four hinges fixed to the central tube and two guide tubes on either side of the parallelogram, connected to the arms via suspension pins and ball bearings.

Value for money
Pricing

The MP3 400 is $11,990 plus associated dealer and on-road costs. Piaggio is running a promotion from May 26 - July 31, 2008 offering free registration and CTP.

For those wishing to jump straight onto an MP3 400 or 250cc, you will need a motorcycle licence to be able to legally ride one.


Standard features
Tinted screen, large underseat storage, handbrake, digital centre dash with two trip meters, anti-theft coded-key immobiliser, remote boot and seat release, centrestand and shopping hook.

Accessories
A top box, various larger windscreens, heated leg covers, passenger backrest, scooter cover and a Tom Tom rider navigator are available.

Design & function
Comfort

The rider's seat is quite comfortable but it did tend to try and push you forward. The only way around this was to have a re-adjustment from time to time.

The bars are nicely placed in relation to the seat and never gave any soreness when riding in the city or country.

Ergonomics
The finish on all switches and the dash layout is very impressive. An analogue speedometer and tachometer consume the two outer dials, while the middle dial is digital and contains a large clock and two trip computers.

Luggage space
The exceptionally large underseat storage bay will hold two open face helmets plus a medium sized shopping bag.

Build quality & finish
After inspecting the MP3 400 a number of times I was impressed with the build quality and finish. From the paintwork to the switches on the bars, it looks and feels good quality with a Euro flair.


On the road
Fuel

As it has a relatively small fuel tank it was fortunate the MP3 400 returned good fuel consumption results. No change in consumption was noticed riding in dense city traffic or on open country roads. 260km can be expected out of the fuel tank making this scooter a genuine touring option for those preferring not to ride a conventional two wheeled motorcycle.

Performance
Being quite heavy, the pull off the mark was not as good as expected. However, once cruising at speed the 400cc engine had no trouble maintaining speed limits and pulling up hills.

Ride
My first impression of two front wheels was that it looked pretty weird and, although it was unnerving at first, once I got used to feeling every bump and not worrying about the front moving around, I found they gave double the feedback.

When travelling under 15km/h the scooter has a very handy feature of a switch on the right bar which locks the suspension at whatever angle you are at. Although it took some getting used to it made for an easy ride by eliminating having to put my feet down. It can also help parking on uneven surfaces, as the suspension can be at an odd angle whilst you position the bike upright and lock the suspension via the switch.

Handling
The MP3 400 three-wheel scooter has revolutionised personal transport by redefining the entire concept of ride stability. Fun, nimble and nervy, the MP3 400 handles corners with extraordinary safety and road holding. I had the misfortune of approaching a fresh diesel spill around a blind corner at 100km/h. The MP3 400, with its Michelin tyres, only slid slightly, whereas I have no doubt I would have been in serious danger on two wheels.

The only downside was the limited lean angles either side as the centrestand hangs down close to the ground. On numerous occasions the centrestand scrapped the roadway which has the potential to dig into the bitumen and upset the handling.

Braking
I was impressed with the scooter's stopping power with twin discs on the front and a single disc on the rear. The brakes gave the impression of being on a much larger capacity motorcycle.

Smoothness & quietness
As with most scooters the engine was a little rough. However, there was no rattling from poor fitting plastics.

The exhaust was reasonable, producing a putt putt noise which is common amongst the scooter style of motorcycles.

Summary
Comfortable and innovative with exceptional performance, the Piaggio MP3 400 will seduce novice riders as well as seasoned motorcyclists, as it combines enjoyment and ease of use with unprecedented safety.

If you wish to have everyone, and I mean everyone - from small kids to the elderly- looking at you, then this is the bike for you.

If you struggle with putting your feet down at a stop or want the benefits of a scooter style bike, I suggest taking a test ride on either the 400cc or 250cc version and try this unique experience for yourself.

Honda VFR 800



現今超級跑車之中,最流行的機器選擇是直四和V2。你想排氣聲特別少少與眾不同嗎?V4和直三也有跑車選擇啊。老編認為直三引擎必選Daytona,那V4機器呢?答案當然是Honda VFR了。由遠古時代的VFR400、RVF 400到VFR750/800,都是很多人在不同階段的理想選擇。

第一代VFR750在1986年推出,隨後每四年作出更新。不過現款第五代VFR800Fi VTEC在2002年推出以來,只接受過少量修改。

07年曾傳出過謠言說08年會有全新VFR,但事實說明現款VFR的銷量仍然撐得住,不需要急於轉款。想等新車的朋友們,在2010年再看看吧。

Honda Hyper-VTEC系統
利用液壓感應器啟動的推桿,當達到指定轉數後才會把其餘兩個閥門和現在的閥門串連,令凸輪的轉動可以對它們產生作用。所以在低轉時每汽缸只有兩個閥門操作,當轉數提升到某一個程度時,其餘兩個閥門才會加入工作。

鐵騎網誌在2002年試騎的VFR800Fi VTEC,著晒四個哇佬的所需轉數是7,000rpm。但自06年起,VFR800Fi 著「TEC」的轉數已下降至6,400rpm。當轉數升超過6,400rpm後,每汽缸便會有兩生兩死活瓣在工作。減速時,要等到引擎轉數下跌至6,100rpm以下,才會回復一生一死活瓣在工作。

總結:
和以往一樣,由燦基引入的行貨Honda VFR 800Fi VTEC是高級版本,有齊ABS防鎖死煞車系統和DCBS聯動式煞車系統。雖然和現今一公升戰斧相比,面世已有六年的VFR線條變得有點肥腫,但單尾擔、座下雙出喉的造型仍然動人。
現今很多新款跑車仍是獨眼龍只亮一顆頭燈,曾有不熟電單車的警察截停車友,提醒他們的車頭燈壞了一顆....如果你騎VFR800 Fi VTEC的話,便不會發生上述問題了。



2008 Honda VFR800Fi VTEC規格表

引擎形式 四衝水冷DOHC 16活瓣90° V4汽缸
缸徑 x 衝程 72.0 mm x 48.0 mm
壓縮比 11.6 : 1
總排氣量 781.7 cc
最高馬力 111ps/10,500rpm
最大扭力 8.16kg-m / 8,750rpm
車架形式 鋁合金框式車架 PRO-ARM搖臂
傳動系統 濕式多片6前速鏈傳動
燃油供應 PGM-FI 電子燃油噴注系統
前傾角( R) 25°5'
拖曳距(T) 100mm
前懸掛系統 43mm H.M.A.S.套管前叉,無段式預載調較,109mm行程
後懸掛系統 PRO-LINK HMAS單筒避震,七級預載及無段式回彈調較,120mm行程
輪胎(前) 120/70 - ZR17 M/C (58W)
輪胎(後) 180/55 -ZR 17 M/C (73W)
前掣動系統 2 x 296mm浮碟, DCBS聯動三活塞卡鉗
後掣動系統 256mm單碟,DCBS聯動三活塞卡鉗
長 x 闊 x 高 2120 x 735 x 1195mm
軸距 1460mm
最低離地距 130mm
座高805mm
乾重 218kg (ABS 版)
油缸容量 22公升

Monday, June 30, 2008

First Ride: Piaggio MP3 400 and 500


Piaggio's unique MP3 scooter, with its two wheels in front and one in back, has been turning heads since its introduction as a 250cc model a few years ago. After getting the chance to ride the latest 400cc and 500cc versions, we can confirm that it still causes its fair share of rubber-neckers. As automotive drivers, we wondered if Piaggio's entry into the growing maxi-scooter segment could be a viable car alternative for some consumers, and as motorcycle riders, we wondered how those two-front wheels would feel as we chucked it into some bendy-roads. We found all we wanted to know and more after two days worth of driving through both downtown New York City and the surrounding rural roadways all the way into Connecticut.


We'll get to the riding impressions in a bit; first let's take a walkaround. One major aspect to consider when deciding how practical a scooter will be is storage. The overall usefulness of the vehicle can be greatly impacted if there is not enough room for your objects. Consider, too, if there is a specific place to keep a helmet when you dismount the machine. In the case of the Piaggio MP3, the 400 and 500 versions offer differing takes on the storage conundrum. The 400 would be the obvious choice if you don't want to add any extra cases to your mount, as its under-seat space is ample for most helmets. If more room is needed, topcases are available for both the 400 and 500 models. The 250, which is the original model from Piaggio, offers just as much room as the 400, so keep that in mind when shopping.

How about wind protection? Both models come from Italy with a full front legshield and a small wind deflector. This proves adequate for around-town riding, but expect to feel a bit wind-blown at high speeds. Two optional windscreens were fitted to our test models, one of which looks much like the alien-head from the classic movie franchise. Though odd looking, the touring screen proved the most adept at creating a bubble in which to ride. That large screen also did wonders when we encountered a small patch of rain. The smaller optional screen also did a fine job of deflecting the wind, bugs and road debris that makes hard contact with your person when riding on the highways without a screen. A full-face helmet would be a wise addition if you plan to ride sans-screen.

Piaggio has seen fit to offer two distinct looks for the MP3. The orignal 250's appearance is carried-over to the new 400 model, which the mad-max style from the Euro-only Gilera 500 comes over intact on the 500. We favored the 500's appearance, to be honest, and we also preferred its onboard computer to the 400's. The 500 also offers more options when it comes to the good ole bungee, as its exposed metal frame features plenty of places to attach to. We detected a bit more mirror-shake from the 500, though both models were fairly decent for their 360-degree view. We preferred the instruments from the 500 as well. Either model garners plenty of attention from passers-by, so those who don't like attention might want to look elsewhere.

It's the ride that proved the most enlightening feature of the MP3. We got the chance to hop on the original 250 for a brief spin... to be honest, it proved plenty powerful, even on the highway. The 500cc engine offers noticeably more grunt than the 400, so if passing power is your priority, the choice is pretty easy. The 400 proved to be a tweener model in our eyes, as the 250 offers just as much practicality along with a bit more fuel efficiency. The 500 gets around 60 mpg. This section could be titled, "How I learned to stop worrying and trust the front-end." Those riders used to a single contact patch in the front may find some trepidation when it comes to leaning the MP3 deep into a corner. We found that there is no need to worry, as the deep scrapes from the center stand will attest to. Contact with the pavement from hard-parts proved extremely easy, though there is plenty of lean-angle. Another benefit to the dual front wheels appears when braking. We had no trouble at all locking up the rear brake, but it's the front set that delivers the real stopping power. As with most two-wheelers, braking through corners makes the MP3 want to "stand up," so set your pace before the entry point and power out the other end. We had a great deal of fun with this approach, and the MP3 does nothing but inspire confidence. When rolling to a stop, a button press on the right handgrip allows the MP3 to lock into an upright position.



In the end, the pick of the litter would have to be the 500. Though it offers slightly less storage, it makes up for this shortcoming with adequate power and great looks. We'd recommend adding a topcase to the rear and would also consider an optional windshield for touring use, though a full-face helmet would likely be enough for most circumstances. We can think of no better scooters for around town errand running, for the commute to work or for past riders looking to rejoin the world of two-wheelers (ok, three-wheelers). Nobody missed the MP3s on the roadways, as their size and unique presence makes them highly visible. As with all scooters and motorcycles, though, be sure to get the proper training and always gear-up with a good helmet and riding apparel. When ridden properly and under the right circumstances, the Piaggio MP3 seems to offer a compelling alternative to the maxi-scooter norm and even midsize motorcycles.

Piaggio MP3-250, MP3-400, and MP3-500 Scooters are in stock


The PIAGGIO MP3 500 uses innovative technology and premium cycle components to re-invent the very concept of the scooter. With two front wheels and one at the rear, the PIAGGIO MP3 500 is sure to turn heads wherever it goes; its dynamic design offers unparalleled stability to provide an unprecedented riding experience.

AVAILABLE NOW !!!

The MP3 500 ie, which shares the same technological platform as the revolutionary original MP3, delivers show-stopping looks, incredible performance and the X factor that makes it stand out from other anonymous maxi scooters. The machine is particularly in its element on twisty roads, where the razor-sharp handling is complemented by a superb three-disc braking system and the double ignition “Master” engine. With a strong personality, aggressive design and cutting-edge technology, the MP3 500ie is ready to ride into uncharted territory, see specs below!

Go out on the Piaggio MP3 500 and enter a completely new dimension: of sensations and safety. The two front wheels combine the ride dynamics typical of a motorcycle with incredible road holding. The parallelogram suspension system, a Piaggio patented innovation, guarantees unrivalled stability, even on wet or loose tarmac, or trailing other vehicles. The Piaggio MP3 500 is also distinguished by exceptional braking performance: thanks to the 3 wheels and 2 powerful 240mm disc brakes with twin piston calipers in front and a 280mm disc in rear, allowing record deceleration (around 8 meters per second) and a stopping distance more than 20% shorter than that of normal two-wheeled scooters (even with ABS).


Designed using the most sophisticated CAD programs and rigorously tested at each stage of its development, the Piaggio MP3 500 scooter is cutting edge in all of its details. The high-strength tubular steel frame guarantees the best stability and distribution of weight, in perfect harmony with the engine and suspensions. The dimensions and proportions are similar to those of a traditional scooter, with even a small front end. Developed in the wind tunnel, the bodywork combines a revolutionary look with dual functions: maximum protection for the rider at the front, comfort and exceptional storage capacity at the back.

Quick and safe, the Piaggio MP3 scooter darts in and out of city traffic as if it’s quite at home: it negotiates cobbles, rails and drain covers with unbeatable safety and stability. The seat, with integrated backrest and special ergonomic shape, is very comfortable and suits riders of all sizes, whilst its height from the ground promotes maneuverability and control in all situations. There is also comfort and protection for the passenger, thanks to the side handles for a perfect grip.

Piaggio MP3 500 is extraordinary in every way, including its accessories; from the “winter pack” with the comfort windshield, the special winter tires, the heated leg cover and waistcoat, to the Tom Tom Rider GPS navigator with its 3.5” LCD monitor, the X-Jet helmet complete with a Bluetooth communication system, the electronic anti-theft device with remote and other great ideas. Actually, they are revolutionary: just like your Piaggio MP3.


PIAGGIO MP3 500 TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:
Engine Type 4-stroke 4-valve liquid-cooled Piaggio MASTER i.e.
Displacement 492.7cc
Bore/Stroke 94 x 71mm
Max Power at Shaft 29.4 kW at 7,250 rpm (40 bhp)
Max Torque 42.23 Nm at 5,550 rpm
Distribution Single overhead camshaft (SOHC) with four valves
Clutch Centrifugal
Cooling System Liquid
Ignition Electronic inductive discharge and integrated variable timing
Gearbox “Twist and Go” Automatic Transmission (CVT) with dry centrifugal type transmission with damping plugs
Fuel Supply Electronic injection system
Starter Electric (freewheel) with torque converter
Max speed 89 mph (143 Km/h)
Lubrication Wet sump
Chassis Double cradle trellis made of high strength steel tubes
Front Suspension Parallelogram composed of four aluminium arms supporting two steering tubes, cantilevered suspension. Travel: 85 mm. Electro-hydraulic suspension locking system.
Rear Suspension Oscillating engine fixed to the frame with a swingarm and two dual effect hydraulic shock absorbers with four-position spring preload. Travel: 110 mm
Front Brake Stainless steel double disk, Ø 240 mm, two-piston caliper
Rear Brake Stainless steel disk, Ø 280 mm, floating two-piston caliper
Front Wheel Rim Die-cast aluminum alloy, 12" x 3.00
Rear Wheel Rim Die-cast aluminum alloy, 14" x 4.50
Front Tires 120/70-12"
Rear Tire 140/70-14"
Length 85 in. (2,160mm)
Width 30.5 in. (775mm)
Seat Height 30.9 in. (785mm)
Wheelbase 61.0 in. (1,550mm)
Fuel / Tank Capacity Unleaded / 3.2 gals. (12 liters)
Weight 537.9 lbs. (244kg)
Available Colors Passion Red, Demon Black

Features analog speedometer, odometer and fuel gauge. Plenty of under seat storage and a 1 Year Factory Warranty with Unlimited Mileage and Roadside Assistance. (Three year [total] - factory extended warranty available at additional cost.)