▲ 2016 Triumph T120 Black. It's an appropriate name for this modern classic because it's going to sell by the shedload and help put Triumph much deeper into the black. Not that Hinckley is doing badly with a currently fabulous range of machines catering to pretty much every taste. But cash-strapped Britain could always use a little more, and when this bike hits the showrooms later this month, the export money will start rolling in. And rightly so. From all accounts, this latterday T120 is a terrific motorcycle that's completely rebuilt the Bonneville platform and has given us the bike we were long awaiting. Later this month we'll be riding ours in the USA. But wherever you are in the world, check with your Triumph dealer for a test ride. 1200cc. 80hp @ 6,550rpm. 59lbs-ft (105Nm) @ 3,100rpm. 270-degree crank. Fuel injection. Traction control. Twin engine balancers. And a ride-by-wire throttle. The UK price is £9,600. It's a winner.
Yamaha has announced details of its new Tracer 700. Based upon the current MT-07, this 689cc, 6-speed, 75hp (@ 9,000rpm) liquid-cooled parallel twin is aimed squarely at the touring market and features a 50mm longer swinging arm, a 17-litre fuel tank (up from 14-litres on the MT-07), dual headlights, a stepped saddle, pillion grab handles, and a more upright riding position. Buyers can opt for 20-litres of soft luggage and/or a 39-litre top box. The suspension characteristics have, we understand, been revised to provide exactly the kind of ride you might expect when you're planning to spend all day in the saddle. The basic engine architecture is exactly what was anticipated; a DOHC, 4-stroke, 4-valve, 270-degree crank parallel twin. With a bore of 80mm, a stroke of 68.6 mm, and a compression ratio of 11.5:1, the Tracer is promising a maximum torque figure of 50 lbs-ft (68Nm) @ 6,500 rpm
H-D Roadster for 2016
When Messrs Harley-Davidson stop giving us the cool dude, hyped-up, hip, macho, bad-ass, urban brawling sales spiel, we're gonna miss it. We know we will. But until then, we're just gonna have to carry on shaking our heads and smiling inwardly at the overblown marketing crap the firm routinely deploys. What's that? You want another example? Okay. Here it comes courtesy of Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson's Director of Styling: “Since its introduction in 1957, the Harley-Davidson Sportster has proved capable of constant reinvention, and the Roadster writes a new chapter in that story. We’ve watched our customers take the Sportster in so many different directions. The Roadster is a mash-up of styling genres, but the intent was to build a rider’s motorcycle, a Sportster that’s lean and powerful and connects the rider to the road.” [More...]
We don't know what's sonic about it. That is to say, it probably buzzes like a wasp. But so does a wasp. And nobody calls a wasp a sonic insect. We figure that when you call something "sonic" it ought to have something more than an electric motor at its core. We were hoping (at least) for a laser type thingy that zaps dirt and grime with ultra-high frequency inverted gamma rays or something. But no. It's just a buzzing electric motor on what looks like a larger than usual electric toothbrush. That aside, this little non gamma ray doo-dah is designed for motorcycle detail fetishists, which is probably what most of us are most of the time. It oscillates 10,000 times per minute, which is reckoned to be five times faster than the human hand (and we know what you're thinking, so let's not get smutty, huh?)
Yamaha 04Gen concept
Yamaha calls this new concept scooter 04GEN. It's part of the firm's current fascination with creating new ways of thinking about new materials coupled with re-inventing various transport modes. In Yamaha-speak, we're talking about its "Refined Dynamism" philosophy. 01GEN is a futuristic three-wheeler. 02GEN is a new take on the wheelchair. 03GEN-f and 03GEN-x are the Tricity-based three-wheelers, the former having been recently revealed at the Bangkok International Motorcycle Show in Thailand. Meanwhile, the 04GEN concept featured here has just been unveiled at the first ever Vietnam motorcycle show which took place in Ho Chi Minh city. [More...]
It is possible to try too hard. Everyone knows that—except perhaps Matchless which has sent us details of its new Notting Hill Rebel waxed cotton jacket. You'll recall, no doubt, that the Matchless brand is currently owned by the Italian Malenotti family headed by Franco Malenotti. The family bought it in 2012 from a Greek consortium which, in 2006, paid £45,000 for the famous "Flying M" device and rights (see Sump July 2015). Since then, the company has positioned itself alongside the likes of Belstaff and has created numerous up-market fashion products ranging from sunglasses to jackets to blouses to whatever floats the boats of contemporary urban fashionistas.
Samsung Smart Windshield
Here's one of those solutions that's looking for a problem. Except that this solution will probably sooner or later create more problems than it solves. The idea, developed by Samsung and Yamaha, is that your smartphone receives a message or satnav information and projects it onto your motorcycle windscreen. Then you can field calls from mum and dad, or slavishly follow a route, or play chess matches with your mate in Vladivostok or whatever. To illustrate the concept, Samsung has created a YouTube video which suggests that this Smart Windshield is "a new concept in road safety" and "a revolution for young motorbike riders". Note the word "young". Presumably anyone above the age of forty and/or with grey in their beard would know better than to muck around with this piece of technotrash.[More...]
All forty-seven UK Triumph dealers will be participating in the Triumph TFest scheduled for 23rd to 24th April 2016. The event will see Triumph dealers open their doors just a little wider than usual having honed their sale pitch just that little bit sharper. Of special interest will be the launch of the new Triumph Thruxton R, the 2016 Explorer, the 2016 Speed Triple, and the much anticipated Bonneville T120 and T120 Black. Currently, Triumph Motorcycles has so many great bikes in its range that many riders are likely to be stuck for choice. [More...]
Ducati Diavel's Red Dot
In case you've never heard of the Red Dot award for design excellence, we can tell you that it's a German initiative founded in the 1950s. Basically, firms annually submit their products for scrutiny by a select board of "experts", whatever that meant to you, and the entrants are grouped into one of three categories, and then the finalists are selected, etc. For 2016, Ducati's XDiavel S shmooser-cruiser has won the “Red Dot Award: Best of the Best” in the “Product Design” category. Naturally, Ducati is perfectly pleased with this gong. But the firm will have to wait until July 2016 to collect its plaque, trophy or whatever. [More...]
British crash helmet manufacturer, Davida, has been commissioned to design and create a range of lids for the Rolling Stones Exhibitionism spectacle at the Saatchi Gallery in London. The show kicked off on 5th April 2016 and runs until 6th September 2016. There are so far just two crash helmets (that we know of) on show, both of which are based around Davida's existing Jet platform. The iconic "tongue and lips" device (designed in 1971 by John Pasche and made famous on the Sticky Fingers album that same year) features on both lids. On one, the device is painted in the original red. On the other lid, the new hues are the "corporate colours" from the Exhibitionism event. [More...]
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