The Original Honda GoldWing GL1000 - 40 Year Anniversary


In the past 40 years, a friend of my has always owned at least one Honda GoldWing. He started out with a Honda GL1000 in 1977 and, as you might imagine, he’s owned quite a few since then alongside many other types of motorcycle. But there’s something about the original Honda GoldWing which keeps him coming back for more – and that says something significant about Honda’s achievement.

Aimed squarely at America, the Honda GL1000 was so successful that Honda sold more than 25,000 original GoldWings each year in the USA and ended up building the things in America. The Honda GoldWing is a lot like the Range Rover: it’s almost a marque in its own right.

After stealing the scene with the Honda CB750 in the late 1960s, Honda then had to share the spotlight with the superbikes of the early Seventies. The CB struggled to keep up with Kawasaki’s Z1 and couldn’t match the long-distance capability of BMW’s touring twins. So in 1975 Honda introduced a revolutionary motorcycle: pressurized water-cooling, a decade ahead of its time, equipped with an unobtrusive shaft drive that followed – a giant leap forward. And, by the standards of the era, simply gigantic.

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Rating: 2.00/5 (1 vote cast)

The Ducati SuperSport and SuperSport S


Ducati unveiled a pair of new sportbikes in October last year, the Ducati SuperSport and SuperSport S. Both very well received the Ducati SuperSport has an excellent performance and ideal for everyday use, while the Ducati SuperSport S has other higher specification components.

Both models have identical spec engines and transmissions. Engine is a 937cc (94 x 67.5), 12.6 to 1 compression ratio. Testastretta L twin with 4 valves per cylinder, Desmodromic and liquid cooled. Output is 113 horsepower with 967Nm of torque.

The Continental EFI has 53mm Mikuni throttle bodies with full Ride-by-Wire while the exhaust system is lightweight 2-1-2 with catalytic converter and twin Lambda probes and twin silencers to pass the latest exhaust emission standards. Transmission is comprised of a 6-speed gearbox with straight cut gears, wet multiplate clutch mechanically operated with self-servo action on drive and slipper action on over-run.

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Exciting as Engine Oil


To the uninitiated, modern engine oil is about as exciting, well, as waiting in a queue for over 30 minutes. But once you take some interest in the quality of the lubricant you’re putting into your trusty motorcycle, you realize the boffins in white coats who formulate the motorcycle engine oil are brainiacs.

Take Shell Advance Ultra 4T four-stroke engine oil for example. It’s 100 percent synthetic race-spec engine lubricant, which Shell reckons provides a motorcycle engine with more torque and increased power while also keeping the clutch and transmission well oiled.

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Yamaha Makes Strong Statement At Dakar Rally 2017


The Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team proved to be a force to be reckoned with during this year's Dakar Rally. With team member Adrien Van Beveren winning the rally's final stage while locked in a fierce battle for an overall podium result, together with Yamaha France supported stage one winner Xavier de Soultrait Yamaha Racing riders remained strong contenders for top honours throughout the 39th edition of the prestigious annual event.

Living up to everyone's expectations as possibly the toughest event that has ever taken place in South America, the 2017 Dakar Rally tested competitors' physical and mental stamina all the way to the finish line in Buenos Aires. Featuring a week's racing in the high altitude of the Bolivian uplands, weather conditions ranging from torrential rain to scorching heat the 8,818km adventure proved to be an extremely tough challenge for all competitors and team crews.

Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team's Adrien Van Beveren was Yamaha's best performing rider at the end of this grueling two-week-long race through Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina. Demonstrating the potential of his WR450F Rally machine the Frenchman climbed to third in the overall standings on stage five of the rally, holding on to his position inside the top three for the following four stages. Involved in a fierce battle for the final podium all the way until the last stage, Van Beveren eventually claimed fourth overall just 48 seconds behind third placed Gerard Farrés.

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The 2017 Triumph Street Triple 765 and Moto2 Racing


Eighteen months after it was revealed that Triumph was planning to replace its Street Triple with a range of near-800cc machines, the British motorcycle manufacturer has done exactly that.

The new line-up sees the motorcycle upped from 675cc to 765cc thanks to a 1mm increase in stroke and a 4mm wider bore, with a new crankshaft and pistons. For 2017, the Triumph Street Triple R gets 86kW from its 765cc engine, up from 78kW last year. And above it in the range sits a new Street Triple RS with 90.5kW, again from a 765cc powerplant.

While the new motorcycles look familiar, and indeed have much the same chassis as before, there’s a new swingarm and reworked styling that includes new lights, side panels and a revised tail, as well as a new bellypan on the Triumph Street Triple RS model.

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The Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 Motorcycle Jacket


The perfect do-it-all jacket is an elusive beast. It fits well, flows plenty of air in tropical weather and yet buttons up tightly with an insulating layer for cooler temperatures, has pockets for our stuff and waterproofing to keep us dry. Bonus points if it manages to look good in the process. I may have found a do-it-all contender in the women’s Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 jacket, which also comes in a men’s version.

The Joe Rocket Atomic 5.0 is made of waterproof treaded Rock Tex and Hitena, with a removable full-sleeve insulating liner. Although I didn’t have a chance to test the jacket in the rain, I noted that the inner liner has an offset zipper inside the main shell zipper, with a flap that looks like it’s meant to eliminate wind and water from seeping in.

The CE-approved armor at the shoulders and elbows is accessible externally via zippered pockets, making it easy to remove for cleaning. The back protector is just a foam pad, but the pocket is large enough to accept optional Joe Rocket CE-approved armor.

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Rating: 2.00/5 (1 vote cast)

The Cartridge Fork - For More Control and Better Handling


Until the mid-1980s, most motorcycles featured cheap damper-rod forks with overly soft springs and damping that worked only at specific suspension speeds. Tuning in those days was pretty much limited to fitting progressive-rate springs and changing the fork oil to broaden the performance window.

However, sportbikes switched over to cartridge designs in the ‘90s. These offer much more consistent performance, separate rebound and compression damping functions and can be tuned more precisely over a larger range. If you are serious about racing, the internals can be changed for more precisely machined parts working in a different range to reflect the use you’ll be putting them to, hustling the motorcycle around a track lap after lap.

Cartridge forks work on the principle of a variable orifice, giving more damping control over a wider speed range. The damping is controlled by stacks of shims built on compression and rebound pistons. The two pistons are enclosed in a cartridge that looks similar to a large bicycle pump.

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Rating: 3.00/5 (2 votes cast)

The TomTom VIO - Scooter-Specific Satellite Navigation


In an attempt to reclaim the satellite navigation industry from he smartphone companies TomTom has designed a scooter-specific GPS.

Over a decade ago, TomTom created its first satnav for cars; it later released TomTom Rider for motorcycles, and has now revealed the TomTom VIO, the world’s first smartphone-connected GPS for scooters owners.

Unlike other satnav units, the TomTom VIO can be used while wearing goves and gives the rider access to various phone functions. It’s waterproof display offers turn-by-turn navigation both on-screen and via a Bluetooth-equipped helmet audio system. If a phone call comes in, the TomTom Vio will display the caller’s image, giving the rider the opportunity to answer using the headset.

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Rating: 2.80/5 (5 votes cast)

Painting Plastic Use the Right Primer


Repairing the damaged plastics of a motorcycle is one thing; painting them to a satisfactory level is an altogether different matter. Unless you have the facilities to properly spray it’s arguably a job that is best left to the professionals.

However, should you wish to take the plunge and have a go there are almost limitless tutorials online that will take you through preparations, operating conditions, paint types and numerous other key areas. One thing to be aware of with plastics is getting the right primer; without this vital first step, paint is unlikely to adhere to the plastic properly.

The hardest plastic to cut in terms of paint adherences is anything regarded as a polyolefin. If the panels you’re working on look and feel like a washing up bowl then they’re almost certainly polyolefin in nature. Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) are the most common and are typically found on step-through leg shields and mudguards.

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The New Michelin Power RS Sportbike Tire


Even though Michelin is involvement with MotoGP as the new spec-tire manufacturer has just entered its second year, Michelin is already looking to capitalize on that relationship by introducing a new flagship sportbike tire, designated the Michelin Power RS. Superseding the Michelin Pilot Power 3 as the company’s top-of-the-line sportbike tires, the new Michelin Power RS is primarily intended for road use while easily handling the occasional trackday outing.

Michelin is claiming that the new Power RS tire outdoes the competition in every dry pavement performance category, from grip to feel to flickability to stability and even average lap time.

Boasting new dual-compound technology derived from its latest racing exploits, the Michelin Power RS also has a new patented carcass construction that is claimed to allow excellent straightline stability as well as increased confidence at extreme lean angles. Interestingly, the new compounds and carcass have permitted Michelin to actually decrease the amount of ‘softer’ compound on the shoulder of both front and rear tire compared to the previous Michelin Pilot Power 3 tire.

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Rating: 2.67/5 (3 votes cast)
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How many times have you crashed your motorcycle in the last three years?

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