Posts Tagged ‘prototype’

Machineart Produces BMW-based Concept

April 13, 2009

Industrial design and product development firm Machineart Industrial Design has completed the R1200GSM, a design study of the iconic BMWR1200GS, using a process called “direct digital manufacturing” that drastically cut production time.

Machineart, Frenchtown, N.J., provides new product design and development services, focusing on concept development, visual brand identity, parts engineering and prototyping in powersports, computers & equipment, consumer products, medical products, juvenile products, housewares and sports equipment.

Machineart leadership says the primary goal was to develop a look that departs from BMW’s common lines while retaining a sense of muscularity. A secondary goal was to reduce the GS’s visual weight and give it a look of agility and forward movement. The final challenge was to build the prototype in a reasonable period of time utilizing digital manufacturing technology.
machineart1
Pieter de Waal, vice president, BMW Motorrad USA, recently told Dealernews that most GS riders do not ride off-road but still gravitate to the model because of its versatility, comfortable (more…)

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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Squashing the KTM Rumor Mill

February 26, 2009

Austrian firm KTM says it is preparing to launch a hardtop X-Bow and “green” off-road four-wheeled vehicle. It’d make sense, but a glimpse at the OEM’s financials don’t show much room for the production of such units.

KTM ended its 2007/2008 business year Aug. 31 with sales of 92,385 motorcycles, up from 90,306 units sold during the 2006/2007 business year. Car sales numbered about 100 units.ktm_xbow_cross1

While recent year-end revenues were €605.7 million (about $776.9 million), up 7 percent from €566.1 million in the prior year, a drop in the U.S. dollar exchange rate to the euro brought earnings down 49.4 percent from the comparable period, to €20.1 million (about $25.8 million).

Then, in November, feeling the pinch of the global economic slowdown, the OEM announced a plan to cut motorcycle production by 10 percent and lay (more…)

Dealernews Rides the Vectrix VX-1E & VX-2

January 24, 2009

Electric two-wheeler specialist Vectrix Corp. last week unveiled its VX-1E and entry-level VX-2 scooters, two units that join the flagship VX-1 in the company’s line-up. I rode the two new models this week during a visit to the company’s headquarters facility in Rhode Island.

Vectrix’s VX-1 was introduced in 2007. The 2009 VX-1 will have refreshing new graphics in four colors:

2009 VX-1

2009 VX-1

white/burgundy red, white/metallic silver, white/sapphire blue and white/acid green. The unit weighs in at 515 pounds, has a 60-inch wheelbase and 30-inch seat height, and is outfitted with premium parts like Pirelli tires, a Marzocchi fork, Sachs rear shock and Pro Grip grips.

The only highway-legal electric scooter, the bike has a top speed of 62 mph, acceleration from 0-50 mph in 6.8 seconds, and an average range of 30-55 miles on a single charge. The aluminum-frame unit also features regenerative braking, which uses the energy absorbed by braking to recharge the batteries.

The newly introduced VX-1E uses the same platform and drive train as the original VX-1, yet features a

2009 VX-1E

2009 VX-1E

lower price point and slightly less acceleration and top speed. The difference in price and output comes as a result of its lead-acid batteries versus the VX-1’s nickel metal hydride batteries. Both models plug into a standard 110V/220V outlet, but only the VX-1 also offers regenerative braking.

The VX-1 models are full-size scooters, and feature handling and ergonomics similar to many of the other maxi-scoots I’ve piloted. Since they’re electric, they’re not the fastest scoots, but power lost on the top end is made up in off-the-line acceleration.

I’m 5’10” with a 32-inch inseam and sitting on the stock seat had me balanced on the balls of my feet at a standstill. However, using the lower and narrower accessory seat allowed me to plant both feet firmly on the ground. As for storage space, there’s not much on either unit – due to the eight-foot electrical cord stowed under the seat – but there is room for one full-faced helmet and a top case is available as an accessory.

The VX-2 was designed to be the electric equivalent of a 50cc internal combustion engine bike. It has a

2009 VX-2

2009 VX-2

weight of 429 pounds, a wheelbase of 54.5 inches and seat height of 29.9 inches. It features a 40-50 mile range, 30 mph top speed, and a 48V/20A battery charger that plugs into a standard 110V/220V outlet.

Sourced from China, the VX-2 is similar to the E-Max electric scoot yet carries styling to make it an undeniable part of the Vectrix family. The ergonomics and output are similar to gas-powered four-stroke 50cc units – convenient for putt-putting along surface streets or first-time riders but lacking any real excitement for experienced operators. A “boost’ button that draws more power for increased output to aid hill-climbing ability is a welcome feature, although overuse of it will drain the unit’s battery in a jiffy.

Vectrix’s plans for 2009 also include a new line of accessories for its VX-1 and VX-1E, among them: the previously mentioned lower, narrower seat and top case, a sport windshield about 7 inches lower than standard for riders who like the feel of wind in their face, and a winter windshield nearly 9 inches wider than standard.

The VX-1E is expected to arrive at dealerships in April with an MSRP of $8,495. The VX-2 is to be shipped in June with an MSRP of $5,195.

The 3-wheeled prototype uses an "H" shaped front suspension initially designed by the former Italjet.

The 3-wheeled prototype uses an "H" shaped front suspension initially designed by the former Italjet.

The Superbike prototype was unveiled in 2006 at the EICMA show in Milan.

The Superbike prototype was unveiled in 2006 at the EICMA show in Milan.

Visit Vectrix USA for more information.