Chinese Made Motorcycle Imports for 2017


The year 2016 in China saw the continuing trend of declining sales domestically and a slight downturn in exports to traditionally safe Chinese markets like Latin America and Africa. This is causing more Chinese manufacturers to turn their attention to the European and American markets.

Despite the expression ‘scrambler’ not meaning what it used to a cursory look around a Chinese motorcycle exhibition will reveal that it is this type of motorcycle that is ‘trending’ at the moment. At last year’s Canton fair I approached the exhibition stand for each different manufacturer and asked them which of their models had achieved the Euro 4 certificate of conformity. After the usual replies of ‘all of them’ I asked to see a copy of the certificates and eventually the truth was revealed that only one or two models actually had a Euro 4 certificate of conformity.

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The First Modern Scooter in Production


Vespa has long been credited with creating the scooter, but a little-known American manufacturer from Nebraska may have beaten the iconic Italian brand to the punch.

The first mass-produced scooter, the Vespa, what means ‘Wasp’ in Italian, was created in 1946 by Piaggio, an Italian aircraft manufacturer. After the end of World War II, Piaggio had a surplus of landing wheels and wing panels, and gave its engineers a quirky but simple brief: ‘Develop a motorcycle which could be ridden by a woman or a priest.’ And so the step-thru scooter was born. Or was it?

Founded in 1901, Cushman Motor Works made engines for industrial and farm use. One of its first engines was a two-stroke for small boats. In about 1936 Cushman decided it could sell more engines if ti made a cheap, easy-to-use motorcycle, and the result was a scooter.

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Rating: 5.00/5 (3 votes cast)

The 2017 BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Central Asia


In the coming months, competitors from around the world will begin their quest for the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Central Asia. In past years, this event has been contested in Tunisia, South Africa, Chile and Argentina, Western Canada and most recently, Thailand in 2016.

For 2017, finalists will be making their way to the vast expanses of Mongolia, where organizers will no doubt present a host of grueling challenges, testing all to their limits. As of this writing, over 15 national teams had been confirmed for the championship round in Mongolia, and that number is sure to grow.

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Rating: 1.50/5 (2 votes cast)

The Kriega Urban Messenger Bag - Fashion and Functionality


The Kriega Urban Messenger bag combines fashion with functionality. It’s easy to put on and take off, even when fully kitted up. It looks great on the motorcycle, is hard wearing and also has a completely waterproof main compartment, meaning I don’t have to worry about my stuff getting drenched if I get caught in a storm.

The shoulder strap is easy to adjust and is very comfortable, and can be worn on either shoulder depending on the preference of the rider. There is also a detachable waist strap that will stop the bag from flapping around behind you at speed, however I hardly ever use it as the weight of my notebook keeps the bag in place very well.

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Rating: 5.00/5 (1 vote cast)

2017 Harley-Davidson Street Rod 750 - Another Budget but Sportier 750 V-twin


It is almost two years ago that Harley-Davidson reintroduced the Street Rod name, which last appeared on a V-Rod-derived motorcycle in 2007. But we could not expect the new generation Street Rod to be quite like this.

Far from being a muscular, high-performance Harley-Davidson sitting near the top of the range, the new Harley-Davidson Street Rod is an entry-level machine based around the water-cooled Harley-Davidson Street 750.

Racking a High Output version of the Revolution X 750cc engine, with 18 percent more power (about 50kW at 8,750rpm) and torque up eight percent compared to the regular Harley-Davidson Street 750, the H-D Street Rod will be one of Harley’s least expensive machines.

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Rating: 2.67/5 (3 votes cast)

The Pirelli Diablo Rosso III - Leading Edge of Tire Technology


Pushing a motorcycle to its limits, or even its perceived limits, depends on the confidence you have in the machine, and to perhaps an even greater extent, the tires. Most sporting road riders will choose the ‘stickest’ tires they can get, whether their riding ability is good enough to actually use that ‘stickiness’ or not. ‘Confidence is everything’ they say, and that’s pretty much spot on.

If confidence plays such a big part in a rider’s tire choice, it usually comes in part due to the ‘name’ the tire brand has. Pirelli has been in the tire game for over 100 years, and really, brand names in tire technology do not get much bigger than Pirelli. I can go back to when I started riding big bikes, when the Pirelli Phantom, especially the Silver Dot Phantom was the tire to have. The Italian company has produced pretty good sporting road tires since then, and the Diablo Rosso III I have tested is probably one of the best sports road tires I have ever used.

Rosso means red in Italian, and as the national motor racing color for Italy is the color red, then it matches the ability of the Pirelli Diablo Rosso III. It’s not a race tire though, it was never designed to be. Like the original Rosso from about 17 years ago the Diablo Rosso II, the Diablo Rosso III is primarily a supersport road tire, capable of doing a track day. In the hands of a professional racer it’s probably capable of much more than that.

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Rating: 4.00/5 (1 vote cast)

2017 WorldSSP Thailand - Chang International Circuit


GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team's Federico Caricasulo scored his first 2017 FIM World Supersport Championship race win with the all-new YZF-R6 after a dramatic 17-lap World SSP race at the Chang International Circuit. In the second round of the series, in a race that featured very high track and air temperatures, teammate Lucas Mahias looked set for a podium finish of his own but experienced a technical issue early on and had to retire. Two other Yamaha R6 machines scored podium finishes, in the hands of wildcard Decha Kraisart and privateer Niki Tuuli.

Intense heat in the build up to the WorldSSP race led to intense competition on track, in a race where three Yamahas finally completed the top three podium positions.

Starting from seventh place and the third row of the grid Caricasulo continued his upward trend of improving competitiveness through the weekend right into the race itself. Involved in a fight or the podium from the very first lap, he took the lead on lap 11, after long time leader Jules Cluzel retired, then never looked back in his determination to win after his first round no-score in Australia.

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Rating: 2.00/5 (2 votes cast)

2017 WorldSBK Thailand - Chang International Circuit Free practice Race


The opening race of the FIM Superbike World Championship weekend at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand saw Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team riders Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes finish fifth and sixth respectively on their YZF-R1s, earning good points once again as they did during the opening round in Australia. With the second race of the Thai weekend to come on Sunday 12th March both Alex and Michael will have another chance to add to their points totals very soon.

After Lowes had qualified fourth in Superpole 2, and van der Mark sixth, both team and riders knew that today's opening 20-lap race offered possibilities to score well.

Van der Mark took his opportunity to record his best result of the year, fifth place, after 20-laps in which he had to pass his team-mate early in the race and then concentrate through the hot conditions to bring it home just over three seconds from a podium finish.

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Rating: 1.33/5 (3 votes cast)

Indian Motorcycles Ready to Launch 3 New Motorcycles


America might have lost two of its motorcycle brands with the recent closures of both Victory Motorcycles and EBR, but the former’s sister company, Indian, is growing at a rapid pace. New documents show that an additional three models will soon be joining the Indian Motorcycle range.

The Polaris-owned firm has filed emissions certification documents for new models under the ‘Chieftain Elite’, ‘Chieftain Limited’ and ‘Roadmaster Classic’ names. While the documents show the motorcycles will be powered by the same 1811cc ThunderStroke V-Twin as Indian’s other large-capacity models, there’s little else to go on regarding their technical details.

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Rating: 4.00/5 (1 vote cast)

The 2017 Harley-Davidson Road King Special - Custom Design No Chrome


Goodbye bling. Say hello to the Harley-Davidson Road King Special. Featuring the recently launched Milwaukee-Eight engine, the Harley Road Kind Special gets mini-ape handlebars and stretched saddlebags, while black accents have replaced the standard Road King’s chrome on everything form the headlamp nacelle and mirror housings to exhaust pipes and wheels.

The front wheel size has changed to 19 inches, and the fork has been redesigned to improve damping control. The shocks are also new, with hydraulic spring preload (rather than air) adjustment.

Where’s the windscreen? Gone. What’s going one with those saddlebags? Harley-Davidson has wrapped them around the exhaust pipes to make the motorcycle look lower. Why the makeover? If you have to ask, it’s probably not for you.

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Rating: 5.00/5 (1 vote cast)
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How many times have you crashed your motorcycle in the last three years?

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