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Saturday, 30 July 2016 @ 12:45 AM ICT
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Motorcycle Ownership Madness

Motorcycle NewsLiking motorcycles can be a tremendous burden I tell you. A couple of months ago, my friend Tom came to me with an unusual request. ‘A friend of mine has left behind his motorcycle for me. Do you think you could hang on to it tell I sort out my life and license?’.

‘Well, I already have three motorcycles at the moment,’ I said, and all I seem to be doing with them is topping up road tax, insurance and batteries. Another one will be just too much for me.’ Even as I said it, I realized I was doing something completely preposterous. Me, refusing a motorcycle? I mean, if I was 18 and someone offered their Suzuki GSX-R1000 to me to look after, I would’ve written up my own contract for bonded labor and handed it over in triplicate. Since when did my life start getting governed by silly practicalities?

It’s a curious thing, this motorcycle ownership. Show me someone who loves one and I will show you how he’s always on the lookout for another. In fact, a few months ago I wrote an article about how it’s probably better for someone like me, given the time at my disposal, to have just one motorcycle and enjoy it completely rather than have three, that I had at the time. So how many do I have after a year of that nugget of wisdom? Er… still three. Albeit two of them are different from the time I wrote that article. Go figure!
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The BMW G310R Slightly Delayed

Motorcycle NewsSome bad news. We’ve just gotten news that BMW’s small displacement motorcycle, the BMW G310R, will take longer time than expected to come to Thailand. The reason is production delays and supply constraints.

The motorcycle will initially be launched in Germany and other select markets. Since the supply requirements of these markets will take all of the production, the motorcycle is expected to arrive in Thailand only by first quarter of 2017.
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Check Valve-Clearance Importancy

Modify & MaintenanceAs far as routine maintenance goes, no one is ever in a mad hurry to check and adjust valve clearances. It’s as involved as mechanical tasks get, short of a top-end or engine rebuild. However, you ignore them at your peril. Incorrect valve clearances lead to lumpy running, poor starting and, in extreme cases, burnt-out valves.

Everyone knows someone whose valve clearances have been rigorously checked, but adjustment has never been required. The brand name ‘Honda’ usually figures in such tales. Far be it from us to doubt the veracity of these legends, but the fact is that valves can and do go out of adjustment and motorcycle brands and usage really don’t seem to have much bearing on matters.
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The Alpinestars Nucleon KR-2 Adventure-Touring Back Protector

Motorcycle PartsThe Alpinestars Nucleon KR-2 is the top of the range Level 2 CE-certified back protector, designed for adventure touring. I use the full race Alpinestars Nucleon KR-R back protector under leathers, but for the rest of the time – for commuting and touring – I’ve been using this Nucleon KR-2 version, as it’s lightweight and heavily vented, making it cooler and comfier to wear in Thailand.

The energy-absorbing articulated back section snugly follows the contour of its vented waist strap and removable shoulder straps. Like Alpinestars claim, it’s so comfortable you forget you’re wearing it after a while. Build quality is top notch, too.
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The BMW R1200 Family Sharpened

Motorcycle NewsBMW has sharpened the styling of its R1200 range and made a host of running changes to its liquid-cooled boxer engine for 2017 to meet tough Euro 4 exhaust emissions requirements as well. It also reintroduces the BMW R1200GS Adventure ‘Triple Black’ special edition, distinguished by its all-black color paint scheme.

Among the mechanical changes includes the fitment of a judder damper on the transmission output shaft to reduce vibration. There is also a revised selector drum actuator, transmission shaft and transmission shaft bearing, according to BMW.
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Naked-Bike vs Faired Motorcycle

Motorcycle NewsThe most obvious comparison between a naked-bike and a faired motorcycle is how aerodynamics affect straight-line performance. But it’s not that simple; we’re not comparing exact like for like. For example, the Yamaha MT-10 uses the outline of the Yamaha YZF-R1 engine but retuned with cam timing, exhaust, cylinder head and bottom end modifications for more midrange performance.

Yamaha say it’s 158 horsepower against the YZF-R1’s full 197 horsepower – but has more than the faired motorcycle up to 9,000rpm. Also, the Yamaha MT-10 (naked-bike) is geared down by two teeth on the rear sprocket, so it should be quicker in top gear roll-ons.

The Triumph has also similar motorcycles; the 128 horsepower Daytona has a short-stroke version of the middleweight triple, while the Street Triple has the p;d. Long-stroke, 105 horsepower engine. Meanwhile, the two 650cc Kawasaki’s (Ninja 650 and ER6n) have most in common; their parallel-twin 650ccm 72 horsepower with 64Nm torque four-stroke engines are identical, so differences must only be aerodynamic including the riding position.
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Ducati Bid for the 2017 MotoGP World Title

Motorcycle RacingDucati has made an early start to its bold bid for the 2017 MotoGP world title with Casey Stoney now fully engaged in developing the motorcycle to be raced by Jorge Lorenzo next year. A world title by Jorge Lorenzo in 2017 would come on the 10th anniversary of Casey Stoner’s 2007 championship for Ducati. And the effort and resources involved reflect Ducati’s commitment to backing-up its huge spend on snatching triple world champion Jorge Lorenzo from Yamaha.

The focus is on chassis development to go with the impressive horsepower and acceleration of Ducati’s Desmosedici V4 engine. The early start to 2017 began at the recent Misano test.

‘For me it is all in the chassis, although there are some small areas of engine where I’d like to also try something different,’ Casey Stoner said. ‘We need to try and get more rear grip. Everyone is always trying for this and I believe Ducati needs to focus on that more than some other teams.
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Yamaha MotoGP Get First Feel For Austrian Circuit

Motorcycle RacingThe Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team shaped up for the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich during today and yesterday's private test at the Red Bull Ring - Spielberg circuit. Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo took their YZR-M1 machines to the track for the first time to get a head start on preparing a well-balanced setting for the tenth race of the MotoGP season. The teammates tried various Michelin tyres and worked diligently on their settings at the circuit that lays the importance on top speed, acceleration and braking stability.

On August 14th, the circuit will host a MotoGP Grand Prix for the first time in nineteen years. Thanks to his long career in the MotoGP World Championship, Rossi is the only current premier class rider who has ever ridden at the circuit before. He has good memories of the venue as he secured his first ever podium at the Red Bull Ring for a third place in the 125cc class in 1996. The Italian had fun experiencing the track on a 1000cc bike over the last two days, as shown by the fifth fastest time he set today, a 1'24.169s.

As it was the first time for teammate Lorenzo to ride at the Austrian circuit, his main aim was to get a feel for the track's unique character and find a good balance for all aspects of his bike's set up. The track has only ten corners (three left and seven right), a 626m longest straight and many opportunities to fully open the throttle. The Mallorcan was impressed with the beauty of the circuit and looks forward to racing there in three weeks' time after booking progress with the set up of his bike today. His fastest time, a 1'24.194s, earned him sixth place in the second day time sheets.
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The 2017 Honda CBR250RR - Almost

Motorcycle NewsHonda has started the pre-marketing of its forthcoming CBR250RR sportsbike with two videos that give a peek at the motorcycle and reveal the sound of its revvy parallel-twin engine. The movies also give final confirmation of the name, with a close-up of the CBR250RR badge.

Initially, the new Honda CBR250RR will focus particularly on countries in Southeast Asia, where it’s also being manufactured. In those markets, 250 to 300cc sportsbikes are hot property, with the Yamaha YZF-R25, YZF-R3 and the Kawasaki Ninja 250 and Ninja 300 – which are also parallel twin motorcycles – setting the standard. In comparison, Honda’s current single-cylinder 250 and 300cc motorcycles are losing the spec-sheet battle.

The Honda CBR250RR is based on last year’s Light Weight Super Sports concept. While the Ohlins rear shock, Akrapovic end can and skimpy pedal brake discs are missing from the production CBR250RR, its overall appearance will be largely unaltered. The headlights have already been revealed in the form of a patent, showing they’re mostly hidden in dummy air intakes below eyebrow-like LED running lights.
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The BMW G310R Assembled at Rayong

Motorcycle NewsWe all know that the BMW Rayong manufacturing facility makes a whole bunch of cars, as well as currently eight BMW motorcycles, including the F800GS, F800R, F800GS, F800GT, S1000R, S1000RR, R1200GS and R1200GS Adventure.

As we also know, BMW has a cooperation agreement with Indian TVS. BMW developed the G310R and both TVS and BMW would create a line of motorcycles from it. TVS is basically the manufacturing partner, building the BMW G310R out of its Hosur, India plant under BMW’s quality supervision.

The BMW G310R has been in the public domain for months, and we have got to know it as well as possible without riding it. We know that the engine is a state-of-the-art liquid-cooled single-cylinder with dual overhead camshafts, the cylinder is backward-tilted and the intake is positioned at the front like we can see on MotoGP bikes. The power output is 25kW, or 34 horsepower, at 9,500rpm and a maximum torque of 28Nm at 7,500rpm.
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