The New Honda ‘Crossover’

RTWW will admit confusion when the first details of this new bike from Honda were announced.  Orginally talked about as an adventure bike, though the drawing that came with that showed a bike not suitable for adventuring in the BMW GS sense.

Now Honda insiders are calling the bike the ‘Crossover’ and saying that it is a 800/900cc V4 bike, unique in its styling and ready to ‘crossover’ several motorcycle roles.  A bike for everyday use but not ignoring other qualities.

Suddenly it seems they may have something very tempting up their sleeves.  A new image of the front end of the bike is interesting to say the least showing a neat fairing,  stacked lights, and apparently a raised dash bringing instruments higher into the riders field of vision.

So it seems this bike is an all-round tourer and, should they fix the small fuel tank issue that has plagued and overwhelmed a lot of the good press around the VFR 1200F, Honda could be pulling the covers off something fantastic in Milan.

 

Honda’s official statement reads;

Honda today released a second design sketch of the mid-range crossover motorcycle that expands its V4 engine configuration offering.   The image shows the front face of the motorcycle, with a fairing design that improves high speed stability as well as engine cooling; and an innovative ‘floating’ instrument panel to put the gauges in the rider’s field of vision for improves safety.   This crossover is a midrange capacity motorcycle – Honda will also reveal at EICMA a new concept motorcycle using the 1200cc V4 engine first seen in the VFR1200F, to further prove leadership in this evocative and powerful engine configuration.

This mid-range machine is an exciting new approach – a crossover machine that represents the best aspects of two separate biking genres.   It will have the flexibility and exciting attitude of a Naked performance machine, with the more comfortable upright riding position and design cues inspired by adventure bikes.  With the low centre of gravity of a performance bike it is great fun to ride, and because of its wide handlebars and upright riding position it is both easy to manoeuvre and comfortable . Honda research had revealed that customers want a machine that has both a unique style and is also fun to ride in all conditions throughout the year.

Honda has delivered this customer request. The final production motorcycle will be shown for the first time at the EICMA show in Milan from 2nd November 2010, when pictures, the date for production and date of availability in dealer will be revealed.

2011 Triumph Tiger Adventure Bike, Clothing & Accessories Video

Triumph have a new video up featuring some of the accessories which it will have available at the launch of its new Tiger adventure bikes.

They’ve covered all the important and expected stuff i.e. sump guard, touring screens, luggage, protection items.

All in all a good package this way comes, whether it can knock BMW from its perch remains to be seen. Performance, not bolts ons will decide that.

Check out the video below, and you’ll find previous teasers at http://www.triumphadventure.com

The BMW K1600 GT & GTL, Very Grand Tourers

BMW has finally taken the wraps off its new 6-cylinder grand tourers, the K1600 GT and the K1600 GTL, and grand is the right word to describe them.

The huge bikes bristling with technology, the hallmark of every BMW bike, have raised the bar once again for the tourer market.  The innovative engine delivering huge pulses of power to carry along bike, luggage, and passengers is another factor to set this bike apart from other luxury machines.  The specs and a few more images are below.


Technical Specs

ENGINE: Weighing 102.6 kilograms, the engine is by far the lightest serially produced 6-cylinder in-line engine for motorcycles in the class > 1000 cc. What is more, the engine is significantly narrower in construction width than all other 6-cylinder in-line motorcycles in serial production to date. This extremely compact construction and reduced width was achieved in particular by means of a cylinder bore of 72 millimetres in conjunction with a spacing of just 5 millimetres between the cylinder the cylinder sleeves.

Both the low engine weight and the consistent lightweight construction of the vehicle as a whole contribute to the low weight of the vehicle. At 319 kg (K 1600 GT without panniers) and 348 kg (K 1600 GTL with panniers and topcase) the new touring bikes are in the lower range of the segment.

TRACTION CONTROL: Three modes to choose from and DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) for maximum safety when accelerating.

The rider of the K 1600 models has three different engine characteristics directly available at the press of a button at the right-hand end of the handlebars so as to be able to adapt to different uses such as touring on the road, riding on wet surfaces and sporty, dynamic motorcycling – the modes “Rain”, “Road” and “Dynamic”. Available as an option ex works, the traction control function DTC is combined individually with the different modes, fully harmonised with them so as to provide maximum riding safety.

RIDE BY WIRE: The control of the central throttle valve with a diameter of 52 millimetres is effected via an e-gas, also known as a ride-by-wire system. The rider’s wishes are registered by means of a sensor in the accelerator twist grip. The engine control then adjusts the position of the throttle valve accordingly.

CHASSIS: The essential chassis elements of the BMW K 1600 GT and K 1600 GTL are the light alloy bridge-type frame, and the Duolever and Paralever for wheel control at front and rear. Because of the special requirements of a touring bike with a 6-cylinder engine, particular attention was paid to balancing the masses.

All in all, the interplay of chassis and engine position, together with the seating position of the rider, not only makes for a low overall centre of gravity with a very favourable concentration of masses, it also provides an ideally balanced wheel load distribution for excellent riding properties. The combination of ride stability, riding dynamics and lightness of handling in all riding and load conditions sets a new benchmark in the touring bike segment.

ELECTRONIC SUSPENSION ESA II: The new 6-cylinder touring bikes also benefit from the innovative Electronic Suspension Adjustment II (ESA II), which is offered as a special equipment feature ex works.

With this system, globally unique on the motorcycle market, the rider can conveniently press a button to electronically adapt not only the rebound damping properties of the front and rear spring strut but also the spring rest (“spring preload”) of the rear spring strut as well as the latter’s spring rate and therefore the “hardness” of the suspension. This makes for outstanding stability and impressive responsiveness in all load states.

The additional adaptation of the spring rate allows the damping settings “Sport, Normal, Comfort” to be spread widely in ESA II, giving them clearly perceptible characteristics during riding. So in “Sport” mode, the K 1600 GT and K 1600 GTL are even more dynamic and precise and in “Comfort” mode they are more comfortable – while still retaining excellent stability.

HEADLIGHT: With the new BMW Motorrad touring bikes, the first ever “Adaptive Headlight” option is available ex works in the motorcycle sector as a supplement to the standard xenon headlamp. In addition to standard pitch compensation, the light of the main headlamp is also balanced in relation to banking angle. This produces significantly improved illumination of the road when cornering and therefore an enormous increase in active riding safety.

HIGHLIGHTS: BMW K 1600 GT/ K 1600 GTL:

* Supreme in-line 6-cylinder engine with a high level of pulling power, especially in the lower and medium engine speed range.

* Engine output 118 kW (160 bhp) at 7 750 rpm and maximum torque 175 Nm at 5 250 rpm.

* Over 70 per cent of the maximum torque is already available from 1 500 rpm.

* The lightest and most compact 6-cylinder in-line engine in serial motorcycle production > 1000 cc weighing just 102.6 kg and measuring 555 mm in width.

* Consistent lightweight construction throughout the entire vehicle (magnesium front panel carrier, aluminium rear frame, crankshaft etc.).

* E-Gas..

* Three modes to choose from (“Rain”, “Road”, “Dynamic”)

* High active safety due to standard BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (part integral).

* Dynamic traction control DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) for maximum safety when accelerating (optional extra).

* Chassis with Duolever and Paralever and ideal mass concentration for dynamic riding properties combined with optimum comfort.

* Electronic Suspension Adjustment ESA II for optimum adaptation to all uses and load states (optional extra).

* World premiere in a motorcycle: Adaptive Headlight (optional extra) for increased safety at night in conjunction with standard xenon headlamp and fibre optic rings.

* Integrated operating concept with Multi-Controller, TFT colour display and menu guidance for the first time.

* Audio system with preparation for navigation device and controllable interface for iPod, MP3, USB, Bluetooth and satellite radio (USA and Canada only) (standard in the K 1600 GTL).

* Innovative design with outstanding wind and weather protection.

* K 1600 GT with active riding ergonomics for proactive touring.

* K 1600 GTL with a very comfortable, relaxed ergonomics set-up for long trips with pillion passenger as well as luxurious touring equipment.

* Central locking for storage compartments, panniers and topcase (optional extra).

* Extensive fittings and individually tailored accessories at the familiar high level of BMW Motorrad.

Marabese Design’s Quatro 4D, the Four Wheeled Scooter

Marabese Design are an Italian design company based near Milan that you may or may not have heard of.

You will however have seen some of their design work as they have had a hand in some 460 bikes including the current Triumph Tiger, the Moto Guzzi Griso, and the Piaggio MP3.  It’s the last one that’s of interest as Piaggio’s three wheel scooter has been very successful and Marabese is going one step further, with the new four wheeled Quatro 4D shown above.  With four independently suspended wheels the scooter leans and performs just as it should but with added stability and traction.  It looks like great fun and may just help keep you right side up in the coming winter weather.  See it in action below.

BMW 6 Cylinder Tourer Web Site

BMW has added more content about its upcoming 6-cylinder touring machines, The K1600 GT and K1600 GTL, to it’s Motorad website.  As usual BMW impresses with a dazzling array of technology features on these bikes and they should make a big splash when they debut, hopefully at the Milan show in November.

Check out the web site here – The BMW 6-Cylinder Legend

Brammo Heads For The Big Time

Electric motorcycle manufacturer Brammo has struck a production deal with international company Flextronics, who also build for Microsoft among many other big names, to build components and assemble their bikes such as the famed Empulse.

This is huge news for e-bikes and for Brammo as electric enthusiasts finally get an excellent bike with speed and range on the verge of mass production.  It’s a bold move for Brammo and a great first step to world domination.  Below is their official press release;

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PRESS RELEASE

BRAMMO SELECTS FLEXTRONICS AS ITS GLOBAL MANUFACTURING PARTNER FOR ELECTRIC MOTORCYLES

Ashland, OR, and Singapore, September 15, 2010–Brammo, Inc. a global leader in the electric motorcycle business and Flextronics (NASDAQ: FLEX), a leading global Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider today announced that Brammo has selected Flextronics as its global manufacturing partner for the production of plug-in electric motorcycles and components. This strategic partnership enables Brammo to rapidly scale its manufacturing production in order to meet growing international demand for its products. This partnership is a continuing expansion of Flextronics’ Automotive segment and augments services to include new clean tech technologies and electronic systems for electric vehicles.

“As Brammo pursues its international growth strategy it is critical to our success that we continue to build our strong reputation for quality, reliability and serviceability,” stated Craig Bramscher, CEO and founder of Brammo, Inc. “Flextronics is focused on providing a high quality end-to-end solutions approach to leading global companies, including automotive, and this is why we have selected them as our strategic manufacturing partner. We can now scale globally with the demand and the rapid evolution of this growth industry.”

“Brammo offers one of the most innovative, electric two-wheeled vehicle product lines in the marketplace and we are delighted that they have selected Flextronics as their exclusive partner for the manufacture of state-of-the-art electric motorcycles. This strategic partnership allows us to further expand our portfolio for battery powered vehicles and complements our strong expertise in high voltage and energy recuperation applications for the automotive market,” said Herbert Schoeffmann, president of Flextronics Automotive. “We look forward to this very exciting partnership, where we will provide Brammo with our world-class global resources, strong vertical integration capability and supply chain logistics enabling Brammo to achieve its ambitious growth plan.”

About Flextronics

Headquartered in Singapore (Singapore Reg. No. 199002645H), Flextronics is a leading Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider focused on delivering complete design, engineering and manufacturing services to automotive, computing, consumer, industrial, infrastructure, medical and mobile OEMs. Flextronics helps customers design, build, ship, and service electronics products through a network of facilities in 30 countries on four continents. This global presence provides design and engineering solutions that are combined with core electronics manufacturing and logistics services, and vertically integrated with components technologies, to optimize customer operations by lowering costs and reducing time to market. For more information, please visit http://www.flextronics.com.

About Brammo

Brammo Inc is a leading electric vehicle technology company headquartered in North America. Brammo designs and develops electric vehicles including the award winning Brammo Enertia motorcycle and the recently announced Empulse. Brammo is an OEM supplier of its innovative Brammo Digital Drivetrain™ systems including the Brammo Power™ battery pack and Brammo Power™ vehicle management system. Brammo has vehicle distribution and marketing operations in North America, Europe and Asia.

For more information visit www.brammo.com. and Brammo on Twitter at BrammoSays and on Facebook at Brammo Powercycles. See the Brammo Empulse in action: http://tiny.cc/brammo-empulse.


New Video for the Triumph Adventure Bike, ‘The Chassis’

This is starting to look really really good.

The latest video shows more of the bike, and the voice over demonstrates that Triumph have looked at every aspoect of what an adventure bike needs and apparently provided it in its upcoming models.  It may be timne for BMW to start sweating a little over its adventure crown.

Triumph says in its latest update;

“Triumph’s new adventure bikes are going to have to take what ever is thrown at them when they are released into the wild later this year.

Designed, engineered and tested for the long distance ride, to places where tarmac and gas stations fear to tread. We’re working hard to ensure that these new Triumph bikes have got everything it takes to give adventurers exactly what they need.

But adventurers come in many shapes and sizes, so we’ve created two bikes with completely different characteristics to best meet your own unique journey. Want to find out more and see the bikes in action?”

For the latest video showing the bikes in action go to http://www.triumphadventure.com/