Thursday, June 30, 2011

2012 Suzuki GS150R - First Spy Shots

7:47 AM Posted by Sajal 1 comment
In today's time of web age, there's hardly anything that can remain hidden, be it the bed room of politicians or an auto manufacturer's stable. Everything gets captured by the 2 megapixel camera of that omnipresent "Spy" who spares no-one and nothing!! Latest to be caught by the lens of our "Spy Guy" is the Suzuki GS150R.

The Suzuki GS150R has remained the underdog in the motorcycle arena which is ruled by the Pulsars, R15s, Apaches and FZs. The Suzuki GS150R, which it's simplistic executive styling offered a very smooth engine, six speed butter smooth gear box and a rider friendly commuter oriented ride and handling. But at a time when the biggest competitor in the segment says "Hunto" in a market where the first and the most prominent impression is made by the looks, the Suzuki GS150R doesn't seem quite rightly put. Just mentioning that it has been inspired from the mighty GSXRs didn't do the job for Suzuki India with the GS150R.

But as the saying goes, "It's better late than never", it seems from the efforts of our "Spy Guy", that Suzuki India is planning to visually revamp the GS150R.


Apart from the new stickering, the revamped GS150R gets

  • A new front visor design
  • A new fuel knob design
  • A White colored variant along with the other colors

The final list of changes/revamps would be known only after the official release (if there would be any... my guess is, there would be a soft release on the official website).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ducati's next gen Super Bike - Face Lifted

7:48 AM Posted by Sajal 4 comments
History is repeating itself. Like it happened just prior to the launch of the Ducati Diavel, it's happening the same with the so called 2012 Ducati Xtreme 1199. The web space is getting flooded with the so called spy shots, which look like a deliberate leak and more of a publicity stunt.

Motociclismo.it has released, the "Face" of the 2012 Ducati "Xtreme". To quote Motociclismo.it -

Milan - This is not a prototype or even disguised as a graphic interpretation developed by Motorcycling. No, none of this: we got hold of photos of the heir to the 1198 version and the final road. It's called Xtreme, and will mark the biggest technical breakthrough of the last two decades Ducati.

A wonderful summary of news: the revolutionary frame for moving the clutch, for distribution, for the fluid, the components for the suspension design. On Motorcycling in July, accompanied by annotations and stylistic techniques, high resolution pictures will take you to the discovery of the "beast" ... as if we were already at the Milan Show, when the red most anticipated of all time will be officially presented.


Interestingly, the 185bhp V-Twin prototype was most recently captured being tested by non other than former WSBK champion Troy Bayliss.

As of now Motociclismo claims to publish more pictures of the bike in it's print publication, so be prepared to see more "Spy Shots" before the motorcycle finally gets unveiled in the Milan Motor show in November this year.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

2012 Suzuki V-Storm 650

8:03 AM Posted by Sajal 2 comments
The Indian market already has the Hyosung GT650R and the Kawasaki Ninja 650R and at this point of time in the Indian market, Suzuki coming up a new and refreshed V-Storm 650 internationally, looks very prudent indeed, as at some point of time, Suzuki would also bring in it's 650cc, middle-weight segment competition in India.

The Suzuki V-Storm has been in the middle-weight touring segment of the market since 2004 and has remained majorly unchanged since then. In 2006, the optional ABS version of the V-Storm was released, with the rest of the bike remaining more or less same. With the 650cc segment heating up and people wanting more affordable and yet fun options, Suzuki came up with the revised V-Storm 650 just at the right time.

Suzuki has been teasing us with this middle-weight segment competitor for around a month now and last night, gave us a full blown glimpse of what's coming. Going by the site homepage, I think, this is deliberate leak into the details, while still trying to maintain anonymity about the bike. So, what has come up in the shape of images and specs speaks of a well rounded sports tourer, much in the lines of the Kawasaki Ninja 650R.


The engine is based on the SFV650 Gladius, though has been re-tuned to low and mid-range torque to suit V-Storm's sport adventure nature. Look wise nothing seems have changed much apart from the front fairing and the side strakes, apart from which the bike looks pretty much the same as the outgoing model.

Engine
Liquid cooled, four stroke, 90° V-Twin, 2 cylinders,DOHC
Capacity
650
Bore x Stroke 81.0 X 62.6mm
Compression Ratio 11.5:1
Induction
Fuel Injection
Ignition  /  Starting
Electronic Ignition  /  electric
Max Power
-NA-
Max Torque
-NA-
Transmission  /  Drive
6 Speed  /  chain
Front Suspension
Telescopic, coil spring, oil-damped
Rear Suspension
Link type, coil spring, oil-damped
Front Brakes
Twin Disc
Rear Brakes
Single Disc
Front Tyre
110/80R19 M/C 59H Tubeless
Rear Tyre
150/70R17 M/C 69H, Tubeless
Dry-Weight

217 kg (STD)/220 kg (ABS)
Fuel Capacity 
20 Litres

For more details on the features, please refer to the brochure below



Once released internationally, I'm pretty sure that the new V-Storm 650 would make it to Indian shores, the only thing that would be interesting to see is at what price it comes as the 650cc middle-weight segment is already at war in India.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ducati's next gen Super Bike - Ducati 1199?

8:14 AM Posted by Sajal 2 comments
After the wondrous Ducati Diavel, which basically re-defined what a muscle bike should be and look like, it seems that Ducati is planning for another bomb and the segment of discussion is their Super bike. With nothing much happening for Ducati at the MotoGP (post arrival of Rossi) and with the drop dead gorgeous 1198S remaining more or less unchanged for quite sometime now, it's quite understandable that the think tank at Ducati is etching to come out with something radical, so radical that it would leave the world numb.

Ducati's current fleet of sport bikes have some features in common - The Trellis frame, The L-Twin engine construction with belt cam drive, Desmodromic valve operation. If Ducati's new patent application, Patent Application #US 2009/0308677 A1, or “Simplified Motorcycle”, is to be believed, then we are in for a real big surprise in motorcycle construction. The patent application basically outlines a motorcycle construction design that is devoid of any frame, and instead all the components are bolted to the motor. To quote Ducati's Lawyer, while filing the patent -

“A motorcycle comprising a propelling group or engine, a saddle support, a support for the rear wheel, and a front directional group comprising a handlebar integral to a steering headstock functionally associated to a supporting organ of the vehicle front wheel, wherein such front group is connected to a box-like body incorporating the function of filtering box, constrained to the engine and apt to support the latter by connecting it, therethrough, to said front directional group, said support for the rear wheel and said saddle support being constrained to the engine, the vehicle being not equipped with additional members apt to constrain said engine to such front directional group.”


The schematic representation of the proposed design is quite radical indeed from a design perspective, leave aside the numbers. With the current competition on the war land in the forms of the super mighty BMW S1000RR, 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R and the Aprillia RSV4 APRC SE, Ducati is really pushing the development of it's next gen motorcycle development and spy shots of this next gen is already out, giving hints of an extremely compact and radical motorcycle.


The spy shot clearly shows that Ducati is trying to carve a new niche than it's already established elements. The Trellis frame is gone, the L-Twin is gone, the belt cam drive is gone, but maintaining the Desmodromic valve operation. The engine is still a 90° V-Twin, but it's not L-Twin, the horizontal cylinder head is now angled back. Ducati is very very seriously trying to get the top end power delivery mapping right for it's flagship.

The main issue with the L-Twin engine construction is that it's long, which in a way limits the swing-arm length for any wheel base, also, it makes achieving a steep rake angle difficult as anything too steep on the rake would hit the horizontal cylinder head. On the other hand, the Trellis frame comes in the way in the potential size of the air box. The 2009 the oh so dangerously gorgeous Ducati Desmosedici, with it's carbon fiber monocoque chassis, might be considered as a blue print of what the future of Ducati Super bikes might be engineered as.

So, as is clear from the spy shots, Ducati has gone for completely re-mastered chassis approach. Other key elements that are noticeable from the spy-shots include -
  • Horizontally mounted rear shock connected directly to the engine
  • Underslung Buellesque side exit exhaust, just like Ducait's MotoGP monsters
  • Almost drag racer length swing arm
Well, there's not much spec available for this so called and proposed 2012 Ducati 1199, but expecting it to rev the roof tops off with it's new more over square Superquadrata engine.

As happened with the Diavel, people are already getting a fancy of the spy shots and people at bar-design.net have already taken the cues from the spy shots.

The Diavel has raised the bar real high for Ducati itself as far as meeting the hype goes and I'm sure Ducati has way more than needed in-house talent available, to repeat the history.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

If you are not wearing the right gear....Well you are not wearing anything

8:02 AM Posted by Sajal 6 comments
A couple days ago, I came to know that a very dear friend of mine met with an accident. When I saw the accident images of him, I was horrified to my bones to see the guy like that. Face swollen, one eye completely closed, cut marks all around.... I mean, I don't even want to imagine how he looked during that period. When I questioned about how that happened, I was told that his 100cc motorcycle slipped on an oil spill and he was not wearing a helmet. How silly and stupid one can get. One cannot stress enough on the importance of riding gear specially in a country like India, where the sense of traffic cannot be predicted by God even, and riding motorcycle is considered as a risky business.

Logic says, any two wheeler that can go beyond 40 kmph, can potentially kill you and you should always wear at least a good full face helmet on such two wheelers. But investing on your own protection on two wheelers is generally considered lunacy, while spending thousands on branded perfume makes much more sense - "Enhances your personality" so to speak... I mean come on!! One bad crash, and you won't be having much of a personality left to enhance.

A very graphic and creative step in this direction has been taken by Motorcycle Accident Commission (MAC), a Government of Australia undertaking. MAC has come up with a very graphic and intelligent TV Commercial that has been create by Resin, which very effectively depicts how dangerous a motorcycle crash can be to your body if you are not suited up properly.



The TVC shows a body painted stunt and the various injuries during a crash. Very intuitive I must say. Not only the video, the website provides valuable figures on riding gear and the dos and don'ts. For example, a simple stat like, a denim pant survives only 0.6 seconds during a crash and a leather pants survives 4 seconds does make up for a compelling figure enough for a rider, to think that all this time he has just been lucky riding with his denims on and making it safely to the destination.

I cannot emphasis on the importance of proper riding gear enough and more. Having learned things the hard, the real hard way, I surely realize how important having proper riding gear is. Forget what people say when they see you fully suited up, as in today's society there is a very thin line between wisdom and lunacy. It's your life which not only belongs to you, but also to your family. So, suite you properly when ever you ride.

Heartiest thanks to MAC from ThrottleQuest.com for bringing this wonderful site up.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The amazing world of hand crafted Royal Enfield Bullet

7:38 AM Posted by Sajal 1 comment
Sometime ago, Royal Enfield released their Handcrafted commercial, and no qualms about that, it was pretty good. Royal Enfield Bullet has been associated with some pretty neat hand crafts work, and in India, it's more a passion symbol than probably any other motorcycle. Once a Bullet rider is always a Bullet rider, specially the older ones.

Building a Royal Enfield Bullet has always been a work of art and craft, which the Electra and Thunderbird don't enjoy. But when it comes to the classic old school Royal Enfield Bullet, craftsmanship is what's required to create this exquisite piece of work. As a testimony of that, a new video has surfaced, which show just what I said and mean.


The precision of the hand and the skill of touch needs no mention here, it's simply fantastic and would entice anyone to have one as more than a motorcycle, as a piece of art



At a time when manufacturers are banging their head to throw in the glossiest of their products as quickly as possible, to see such dedication is quite refreshing indeed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I want to ride

9:00 PM Posted by Sajal 2 comments
I have an open stretch in front of me, with lush green serene valley along side, as I ride along towards pure tranquility. The Sun setting and as I'm gliding towards the silhouette, I look up and see flocks of bird flying above me. But, there's something wrong, something so grossly wrong that all this is bringing a smile on my face. How can this moment be so perfect? A sudden rush of fear fills my senses and as if I'm trying to hold on to this moment as hard as my dear life, but it's slipping out, slipping out faster than I can comprehend. I twist my wrist and try to reach out for the horizon as fast as I can, and just when I'm just about there, I hear something, something so familiar, shattering and shaking that I see everything pulverize into oblivion. I wake up and almost in a fit of rage try to smash the alarm clock on the wall!! I was dreaming!!

This might have happened to many of us, and probably many times and every time it's the same shattering feeling. Amazing how the same thing can have the same effect on every occurrence. But very few of us realize that every time this happens, it changes something inside us. Scientifically it can be summed as the imbalance of net chemical flow between my neurons which is resulting in activation of a particular part of the right hemisphere of my brain, which infests a sense of urge, a sense of dissatisfaction in the order of things as I know it, and craves to break free from order and norms.

Everything seems chaos, unworldly to verge of being alien and in all this I look towards the wall and see something. A dark shadow dancing which felt very familiar and neglected at the same time. It's my riding jacket, lying there as a true and undemanding friend. That's it!! This is what has been missing, it's the missing link that was there right in front of me, but the order of life kept me from just glancing it. I run down to look at that gorgeous lady, who even though past her prime still looks ravishing, serene almost like a goddess and ever so eager to do what she was meant to do.... capture the tarmac with single twist of throttle. It has been long since she has roared and fill my senses so much that nothing else comes close, it's time to suite up and ride and just when everything seemed so lost, so beaten, so destroyed, I say to myself - I want to ride

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

2010 Kawasaki Ninja 650R - Released in India

9:38 PM Posted by Sajal 2 comments
Today the motorcycling scenery in India get's another quote of green to make it look more extravagant than before. Today, on 8th June, 2011, Bajaj Auto and Kawasaki together gave us, the Kawasaki Ninja 650R.

This is the bike that we were etching to companion with on Indian tarmac. This is the bike which would give a vast majority of Indian motorcyclist, that middle weight performance category with the needed comfort level that would entice the 30+ age group. Engineered for performance, Designed for all round comfort and Marketed as a tool for both newbies and pros alike, the 2010 Kawasaki Ninja 650R commands high degree of respect world wide.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, Bajaj Auto said -

We conceived Bajaj Probiking 6 years ago with the objective of making it the default destination for motorbike enthusiasts looking for looking for premium and performance bikes. The Ninja 650R is the next step in realizing that objective. The Kawasaki Ninja 250R has been a success with 1500 of these speed machines sold to date. It is now joined by its larger sibling to rule the roads.



Well, indeed it's a great milestone achieved by Bajaj Auto and Kawasaki conglomerate and there's no qualms about the fact that it's this joint venture that has always proved instrumental in the Indian market as far as pushing the envelop goes.

Expression his view in this occasion, Mr. Yoshiro Segawa, Managing Director (designate), India Kawasaki Motors, said -

After setting up a wholly owned subsidiary in India, we have chalked bigger plans for the performance aficionados of the country. We are pleased to present the stylish Ninja 650R for the Indian performance bikers. With the launch of this bike, we together with Bajaj Probiking are set to redefine the premium sports bike market in India.

Bajaj Probiking would be providing S3 (Sales, Service and Spares) for the Ninja 650R in 30 cities across India, thus providing sumptuous performance to more more enthusiasts.

Finally, after much speculation, Bajaj has also revealed that Kawasaki Ninja 650R would be made available at a price tag of ₹ 4.57 lacs, ex-showroom Delhi. Yes, you heard it right. You can't get such levels of performance and quality at price tag lower than this in the Sports Touring segment, PERIOD!!

Engine
Liquid cooled, four stroke, parallel twin, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder.
Capacity
650
Bore x Stroke 83 X 60mm
Compression Ratio 11.3:1
Induction
2x 38mm Electronic Fuel Injection Keihin
Ignition  /  Starting
Digital TCBI  /  electric
Max Power
53 kW  72.1 PS @ 8500 rpm
Max Torque
66 Nm  6.7 mkg @ 7000 rpm
Transmission  /  Drive
6 Speed  /  chain
Frame Diamond, high-tensile steel
Front Suspension
41 mm telescopic fork, 120mm wheel travel.
Rear Suspension
Offset laydown single-shock with adjustable preload, 130mm wheel travel.
Front Brakes
2x 300mm discs 2 piston calipers
Rear Brakes
Single 220mm disc 1 piston caliper
Front Tyre
120/70ZR17
Rear Tyre
160/60ZR17
Dry-Weight
178 kg
Fuel Capacity 
15.5 Litres

Stepping up to the occasion, the official Kawasaki Ninja 650R website is now online.

2010 Kawasaki Ninja 650R - Curtain Raiser

9:17 AM Posted by Sajal No comments
Well, in some hours from now, India would see the second Ninja to be officially unveiled, after the Ninja 250R took the country by storm and painted the scenery green!! Today, Bajaj Auto and Kawasaki India would unveil the Ninja 650R.

Strategically, the Ninja 650R is a very crucial motorcycle to have in any manufacturer's stable, as the Ninja 650R tries to tap the middle weight segment of motorcycles which is primarily targeted towards to the city dwellers, who have a limited budget and usage. The motorcycle is primarily aimed towards providing a comfortable city ride, highway cruising, commuting to and from your office and very occasional track days. It's our friendly and comfortable tourer so to speak.

Obviously, the entire motorcycle fraternity is quite excited about the official arrival of the bigger Ninja, but at the same time speculations are reaching out for space. Speculations on the price, would it be a Hyosung GT650R killer and that usual mind vomit from fan boys. Before we flood towards the showroom with greedy eyes to get a gimps of the bike, are we sure about what we want to see? Well, we have to understand that the Ninja 650R belongs to the Sport Touring class of motorcycle and we have to look towards it with that frame of mind to be honest with it and to appreciate it and others.


So, before we bask in the glory of the 2010 Kawasaki Ninja 650R, here's a curtain raiser for the bike and what to expect from the bike

The official Kawasaki preview


A short review by Motorcycle-USA.com, which really gives an idea of what to expect


Friday, June 3, 2011

2011 Bajaj Discover 125 DTS-i

1:34 PM Posted by Sajal 2 comments
After a real long delay since it was announced, the Bajaj Auto has officially updated their website, with details of the Discover 125 DTS-i. It's basically the same old Bajaj Discover 125 flagship, which started it all in the 125cc segment, but with new colors/graphics, and some minor tweaks here and there, like all DC electrical and fatter rear tyre.

Visually one cannot make out the difference between 100cc, 125cc and 150cc variants of the Discover DTS-i now. What Bajaj is doing with the Discover is that, it's creating an Executive platform wherein, Bajaj would be providing a host of options for the Executive class of people, who would not want to go for the Platinas and would have various capacities to choose from the Discover stable.

From the styling perspective, the refreshing stickering and front end assembly looks good, but the "Disc-Cover" is a real sore eye. Apart from that, the Discover line of motorcycle has everything that one can expect from the commuter genre. A very dependable motorcycle, now covering one more mass of 125cc commutes.

Make Model
Bajaj Discover 125
Year
2011
Engine
Air cooled, four stroke, Single Cylinder, SOHC, 2 valve per cylinder, DTS-i
Capacity
124.6cc
Ignition  /  Starting
-  /  electric
Max Power
10.8 BHP @ 8000 rpm
Max Torque
10.8 Nm  @ 5500 rpm
Front Suspension
Telescopic, 130mm fork travel
Rear Suspension
Nitrox Gas filled, 110mm rear wheel travel
Front Brakes
200 mm disc/ 130mm drum
Rear Brakes
130mm drum
Front Tyre
2.75 x 17"
Rear Tyre
3.00 x 17"
Ground Clearence165mm
Kerb-Weight
118.5 kg
Fuel Capacity 
8 Liters