Archive for the ‘New model’ Category

Moto Guzzi V7 Classic — GOT ONE!

July 10, 2009

Piaggio USA delivered to me yesterday a brand-spanking new Moto Guzzi V7 Classic and it’s every bit as stylish and ass-kickingly cool as I remember. I’ve been lusting after one of these since I first saw the pics floating around the Internet. And, after saddling up on one at the Long Beach IMS stop, I started pestering the always capable Jeff Perlman over at Brandware (Piaggio’s PR agency) for a test ride. 

 

Phone pic of the V7 safely ensconced in the secret motorcycle proving grounds at Johnson Manor.

Phone pic of the V7 safely ensconced in the secret motorcycle proving grounds at Johnson Manor.

What does this have to do with the business side of the industry? Not a whole lot, but it does point to Piaggio/Moto Guzzi’s efforts to widen its footprint here in the U.S. with a faithful remake of a much-loved model. Triumph cemented its rebirth with its lineup of modern Bonnevilles and more than one OEM has teased the two-wheel crowd with concept models that echo the very standard profile of motorcycles past. While the riding public may embrace each new trick and tweak of the modern-day motorcycle, there seems to be a spot in most moto-hearts for bikes that look, feel and ride simply like bikes.  

It’s been long slog getting Moto Guzzi reestablished here in America (same for Aprilia, but that’s a completely different story) but Piaggio is gaining ground with models such as the V7, the Griso, the Breva and the Stelvio. Still trying to figure out the market niche for the California Vintage as there several capable cruisers out there on the (soft and smushy) cruiser market. Perhaps it’s the same as with the V7 — the nostalgia crowd.

Exclusive: FMF Working on Pipe for Ducati Streetfighter

June 19, 2009

We at Dealernews previously reported how well-known off-road exhaust specialist FMF has been planning to increase its emphasis on the on-road market with its APEX line of exhausts. Today I received a spy shot of the exhaust specialist’s latest project: a carbon fiber offering for the new Ducati Streetfighter.
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“The APEX line is doing quite well in terms of market penetration, but our product for Ducati has been particularly well accepted,” FMF National Sales Manager Doug Muellner told me earlier today. I called Doug after a source sent me a covert shot of the still-in-progress pipe.

“We want the APEX line to be as well-known as our other products,” Doug told me a few months ago. “Off-roaders know the FMF name, and so we want to build the APEX name to be equally as recognizable in the sportbike market.”

FMF offers three types of sportbike pipe – the Powercore S, Powercore GP and APEX – and plans to put more energy into marketing its offerings.

The APEX exhaust comes in carbon or titanium, slip-on or full, and single and dual systems; the Powercore GP is a MotoGP-type titanium race pipe, and the Powercore S line is available in titanium and aluminum and comes with a titanium mid-pipe (if applicable).
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FMF’s other new applications include product for the 2009 Ducati Monster 1100, 696, 848, 1098, 1198 and 1198S; Honda CBR1000RR and CBR600RR; Kawasaki ER-6N, Ninja 250R, Ninja 650R, ZX-6R and ZX-10R; KTM 690 SMC; Suzuki GSX-R600, GSX-R750, GSX-R1000 and Hayabusa; and Yamaha R6 and R1.

KTM Confirms Electric MX Model for 2011

April 23, 2009

KTM has confirmed plans to produce its previously unveiled electric off-road bike in 2010 for the 2011 model year.

As Dealernews reported in October 2008, KTM’s electric prototype weighs 200 pounds, develops approximately 35 hp, and can run for 40 minutes before recharging.
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KTM says the most important aspects of the project were that the machine have high power output, low weight and as long a range as possible using today’s technology. The OEM’s in-house research and development team worked on the project with Austrian firm Arsenal Research.

“The zero-emissions concept mates our known competencies with a new highly interesting motor technology,” said KTM director Harald Plöckinger. “We see emissions-free vehicles as offering the greatest chance to expand enduro sport to a wider and new audience in the mid- and long-term, and to perhaps even start a brand-new trend sport.”

Read more about KTM’s plans for 2009 at Dealernews.com.

The L.A. Times Ain’t All Bad — Throttle Jockey’s Back

April 16, 2009

OK, that headline is a gratuitous jab at the one paper I read EVERY DAY. But when your relationship with your local read starts starts to get increasingly abusive, it’s hard to feel the love. But I soldier on, weathering the insults (like this and this) because I physically need the smudge of newsprint on my hands each morning.

And these days I can be proud yet again in the LAT for who should it bring back but Susannewest Carpenter, the paper’s resident Throttle Jockey. If you remember (or care to follow such things) Carpenter’s popular weekly column on motorcycles and motorcycling was discontinued in July 2008 (read here for a brief explanation and the resulting comments from mostly peeved readers).

Carpenter’s been writing stories for the paper’s other sections but returns to the two-wheeled world in the Up To Speed blog, which also features bits and pieces on transportation from Pulitzer-prize winner Dan Neil and some other Times’ staffers. While (more…)

Harley Iron 883, You Are Soon to be Mine (for a while)

April 1, 2009

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Just got word that I’ll be picking up a new Iron 883 Sportster from H-D on April 20th. I’ll have it for two weeks — that’s two weeks of tearing around town just like I did with its closest relative the Nightster. As I said here, I really liked the first Dark Custom Sporty. It was a great little hot rodder that blasted through turns all tight and scrapey.

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That Nightster also got a fair amount of attention from the motorcycling and the non-motorcycling world. The bike would get thumbs ups at stop lights and at the gas station. Even my chopper-riding, rock-a-billy, tattooed barber dug that action. All of which leads me to believe the Iron 883 will get more of the same as my original story on the bike’s introductory PR has consistently been the No. 1 viewed story on this blog. Search terms involving Iron 883 or some variation thereof are also the most common terms used by people who found the DealernewsBlog.

So, stay tuned and be sure to check out our review of the Iron 883 some time in early May.

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Ducati Working on Adventure Tourer?

March 16, 2009

It appears Ducati may be preparing to add an adventure tourer to its model line.

News outlets and blogs around the world have been reporting on the possibility, but Australian Ducati importer Warren Lee seems to have confirmed the rumors when he recently told the Courier Mail newspaper that the bike would be revealed as a 2010 model.

“Our adventure bike will be a lightweight sporty model with a swingarm similar to the 1098, a tall screen, and it will be the lightest with the best performance in its class,” Lee told the Courier Mail.

The Dutch website Motor.NL managed to obtain some spy shots of the bike apparently undergoing testing on the street. There are no knobbies mounted but, judging by the photos, the bike looks to be powered by Ducati’s liquid-cooled 1099cc V-twin – the same lump powering the OEM’s new Streetfighter.

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Harley’s Iron 883 – Nightster’s Younger Bro

January 26, 2009

In its oh-so clever way, Harley-Davidson today sprung its newest variation on the Sportster theme — the Iron 883. Not one to follow the typical OEM format for releasing new models, H-D likes to quickly (and sometimes quietly) introduce its latest bikes. Take the soft launch of the XR1200 back in December (here, here and here).

So today in my inbox I find the announcement about the Iron 883. This is the latest edition to H-D’s Dark Custom lineup. It is basically a Nightster with Harley’s 883 Sporty motor in it and a price tag (MSRP $7,899) that reflects the smaller power plant (the Nightster carries a $9,899 sticker). It’s got most of the same all-black bits and the fork gaiters. An it uses the same trick turn-signal/brake light/tail light combo used on the Nightster as well as the same side-mounted license plate that folds back. (I’ve often wondered about the purpose of the folding plate and how it might work in going up against a red light camera. Not that I’d ever endorse doing something like that. I’m just saying.) Enough bloviating. Here’s some pics.

Personally, I’m a big fan of H-D’s Dark Customs. Not so much of the marketing campaign behind them, but the bikes themselves are pretty neat. Back when the Nightster was first launched I got a loaner for a few weeks and spent a lot of time blowing around town on that thing. It was a far cry from my AMF-era Ironhead Sporty, which sat more often than it ran, but looked really good sitting.

I really became fond of tearing around on that little hot rod Nightster. It handled and moved and scraped hard parts through just about any turn right or left. And, not that I cared much given it was a press bike, it got thumbs up and attaboys at every stop. Most people really dug the look of it, as did I. Maybe I’m forgetting, but I don’t recall having any real issues with it other than the anemic stock pipes it comes with, but that’s just an aftermarket call away from being fixed. Overall, it is a great bike for zipping around on. With that said, I’m going to see about getting an Iron 883 for review and I’ll let you know what effect (if any) the drop in power has on such a little runabout. And now for some more specs/info.

  • Rubber-mounted Evolution 883 cc V-Twin black powder-coated engine
  • Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
  • Black fuel tank with unique graphics
  • Black front forks with gaiters
  • Black belt guard and front fender supports
  • Black, 13-spoke cast aluminum wheels, 19-inch front / 16-inch rear
  • Black low rise drag style handlebar
  • Black mid-mount foot controls
  • Black low profile front fender
  • Black chopped rear fender with combination rear stop/tail/turn lights
  • Chrome staggered shorty exhaust with dual mufflers
  • Side-mounted license plate holder
  • One-piece, solo Sportster classic seat
  • 25.3-inch seat height
  • Optional Harley-Davidson Smart Security System
  • Classic 3.3-gallon fuel tank
  • 565 lbs. (wet)
  • 55 ft. lbs. @3,500 rpm
  • lean angle: right 29 degrees, left 30 degrees
  • 5 speed

Vectrix Shows Two New Electric Units

January 16, 2009

Vectrix Corporation today introduced its “entry-level” VX-2 and 2009 VX-1E urban commuting model at the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show in New York. These two new scoots join the VX-1 in Vectrix’s model line.

Available in green, blue, red, yellow and white, VX-2 is expected to arrive at dealers in June 2009 with an MSRP of $5,195.

The VX-1E uses the same platform and drive train as the original VX-1, yet features a lower price point and a more urban commuter driver profile with slightly less acceleration and top speed. VX-1E is expected to arrive at dealers in April with a MSRP is $8,495.

I’ll be test riding the Vectrix VX-2 and VX-1E next week. Stay tuned for more company information and a review of the bikes here and at Dealernews.com
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Piaggio Debuts 2009 Vespa GTS 300 Super

January 16, 2009

Unveiled for the world at the EICMA show in Milan last November, the
Vespa GTS 300 Super made its North American debut today at the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show in New York.

The 2009 Vespa GTS 300 Super (MSRP $6,199) is the latest evolution of the company’s best-selling mid-size scooter, the GTS 250.  It’s also the fastest Vespa in the company’s U.S. product portfolio.

Learn more about the scoot here.
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Honda Shows Its Fury

January 16, 2009

Honda unveiled its long-awaited 2010 Fury cruiser today at the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show in New York.

The Fury is arguably the first modern Honda to offer a true custom look: long, low and simple. Powered by a 1312cc V-twin, the shaft-drive bike offers the longest wheelbase ever in a production Honda motorcycle, 71.24 inches; low 26.7-inch seat height; a hidden single-shock rear suspension offering a “hard tail” look; a fat 200-series rear tire and slim 21-inch front tire.

Check out a complete report at Dealernews.com
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