Variable Valve Timing on Sportbikes

With Suzuki all set to launch their new GSX-R1000, a lot is being made of the fact that it uses variable valve technology taken from the firm’s MotoGP bike. While this is the first variable valve technology hs been seen on a 1000cc sportsbike, the technology itself is far from new. In fact, technically the ability to alter the valve’s opening times dates back to steam engines! But today we will simply concentrate on motorcycles…

The first motorcycle to have variable valve technology was the Honda CB400, which used a version of the firm’s car-derived Vtec system. While this motorcycle failed to make it on the global market, the same technology first came to most riders’ attention with the launch of the Honda VFR800 Vtec.

Plagued by an overly abrupt transition from two to four-valves, the Honda Vtec system wasn’t well received and despite the fact that Honda soldiered on with it, other manufacturers decided to hold off. Then, in 2010, Kawasaki unveiled its own take on variable valve timing when the 1400GTR gained a far more sophisticated form of the technology.

Continue Reading

  • Currently 2.75/5
Rating: 2.75/5 (4 votes cast)

The Tire Profile - What you need to Know

The profile of a motorcycle tire is another typical prominent feature for a motorcycle tire. With the round profile, once you counter steer the motorcycle into a corner, it will stay leaned over in the corner till either you lean more or pull it out of the lean.

Once the motorcycle is leaned over in the corner, it is the rear tire that actually steers the motorcycle. The smaller the radius of the profile, the faster the tire will respond in corners. The wider the profile the more stable it is in straight up riding and slower it is to respond in corners. It will be good to remember that usually motorcycle tires need a 200 to 250 kilometer break in period as they expand by some 6 to 8 percent both due to the heating cycles and usage under inflation.

Continue Reading

  • Currently 3.50/5
Rating: 3.50/5 (8 votes cast)

The Tire Tread Explained

The simplest explanation for tire tread will be that they’re the ‘grooves’ in the tire that not just make it look good bit also perform the vital function of draining away water from under the contact patch. The larger tread of ‘knobby’ tires allows the knobs to dig into the soft ground and provide grip where the smoother tread pattern would not grip.

Talking of tread patterns, few know that tires have sea and land within. These are the technical names of tread features. The grooves are the ‘sea’ while the raised rubber surrounding them is the ‘land’. These land and sea patterns are usually unique to each tire model and most tire manufacturers favor a certain family of patterns compared to others.

Continue Reading

  • Currently 2.71/5
Rating: 2.71/5 (7 votes cast)

Soft Luggage for Motorcycles

Even if you don’t believe in magic, you have to admit soft luggage is sort of magical. It can help turn the least likely motorcycle into a touring bike, and do it for a fraction of what it cost to buy a purpose-built motorcycle. When you get home, you take it off and presto! You get your old motorcycle back in minutes. That’s way better than pulling a rabbit out of a hat. To keep the trick from going wrong, though, here are some tips to consider when choosing soft luggage.

Some general considerations first. Just as you do when you shop for riding gear, try any piece of soft luggage on your motorcycle before you buy. It doesn’t take long to find out that the term ‘universal’ sometimes means ‘doesn’t really fit anything well.’ Some luggage just isn’t compatible with some motorcycles, like those with high pipes that can melt saddlebags, or plastic tanks that rule out magnetic tank bags.

Especially with tank bags, mount the bag and then sit on the motorcycle to make sure the bag doesn’t crowd you, obscure the instruments or interfere with the handlebar when the front wheel is at full lock. Do the same with saddlebags that might interfere with your feet on the pegs.

Continue Reading

  • Currently 2.67/5
Rating: 2.67/5 (3 votes cast)

Twin-Shock Rear Suspension - Good or Bad?

Some people apparently see two-shock rear suspension as old fashion and less effective. There was a time when the rear suspension of every motorcycle had a pair of shock absorbers attached to either side of the rear swingarm.

Yes, even those that were raced on tracks or those that jumped the humps during motocross. There still are quite a few motorcycles with just such a set-up but now they belong mainly to the eco-commuter or cruiser class. Nothing wrong with it as the twin-shock set-up is pretty effective considering the costs involved and the performance of the machine vis-a-vis the amount of desired suspension travel and control.

Continue Reading

  • Currently 3.10/5
Rating: 3.10/5 (10 votes cast)

Sports-Touring Tires - Metzeler Roadtec 01 Technology

Sports Touring tires have an incredible tough job. They have to suit all types of motorcycles, from 200 horsepower superbikes to lightweight commuters and heavyweight tourers, give confidence in temperatures as low as 5º Celsius, cut through the heaviest rain, give excellent grip on dry roads, and provide a sporty steering characteristic while remaining stable. On top of all that, they’ve got to give thousands of kilometers of life, too.

Logic suggest that creating a product to achieve all this would be impossible, as the soft compounds needed to generate feel and confidence in cold, wet conditions are the very same compounds that can be easily overheated in warm, dry, high-kilometers situations.

But in recent years all the leading manufacturers have now created products to give riders around the world the ideal solution for all types of road riding, which is why sports touring tires represent the majority of all motorcycle tires sold around the world.

Lets look at the Metzeler Roadtec 01 and the technology that is used to achieve the impossible.

Continue Reading

  • Currently 2.71/5
Rating: 2.71/5 (7 votes cast)

Selecting Motorcycle Boots

Although all motorcycle gear is important, boots rank up there pretty high. More specifically, though, I’m talking about boots designed for riding motorcycles, as not all boots are created equal when it comes to offering proper protection.

Someone once said: ‘Keep your motorcycle in good repair, for motorcycle boots are not made for walking.’ Actually, boots have a huge job to do as they have to protect you from the elements, as well as that worst-case scenario, a crash. In addition, boots are pretty much the only piece of motorcycle gear that you can hang out in while you are out and about on your motorcycle. The other stuff – helmet, gloves, jacket – generally comes off once you arrive at your destination. Boots need to offer comfort wherever your ride takes you – and of course, looking good also counts.

If you’ve been riding a long time, I’m sure that you have gone through many motorcycle boots. And maybe for you, as with me, many of them failed pretty soon after purchase. Loose stitching, sles wearing out far too soon and leather cracking prematurely, even after proper care, are disappointing failures in my view.

Continue Reading

  • Currently 3.80/5
Rating: 3.80/5 (5 votes cast)

Head-Up Display for KTM and Husqvarna

Pierer Industrie AG, the parent company of KTM, Husqvarna and WP Suspension, has invested in American-based tech company NUVIZ, which in just three years has developed a head-up display (HUD) for motorcycle helmets.

The fruits of this new collaboration are expected to hit the market within months.

The investment, which reportedly amounts to about US$ 5 million, includes a seat on the NUVIZ board of directors.

Continue Reading

  • Currently 2.33/5
Rating: 2.33/5 (6 votes cast)

The Alternator, Regulator and Rectifier

Most Japanese manufacturers call them alternators, but they also called generators which is in some sense the correct term. The alternator alternates the current, it’s as simple as that: it spins on one end of the crank, a variable based on rpm by a magnet passing a fixed point with a coil on it and generates electricity. The role of an alternator is to generate an electrical current in order to recharge your battery, so you could say it’s a vital part of your motorcycle.

With an alternator, there are other items required in order to take that alternating currency (AC power). We used to have dynamos, which were DC and therefore wan no need for such luxuries as a regulator rectifier. Instead a more basic regulator controlled the current to the battery: a much simpler system and far less effective. We now have the advent of ‘smart’ rectifiers that click in and out and work only when called upon, rather than a free-flow job.

Nowadays, when you turn your motorcycle’s ignition on, there’s fuel injection, lights, alarms and starter button all drawing current, so you need a decent input. Years ago we used to see car alternators on motorcycles – I think MV Agusta was the last motorcycle manufacturer to use a car item – but those days are gone, and it’s all about trying to reduce inertia, and ultimately give the engine less work to do.

Continue Reading

  • Currently 3.14/5
Rating: 3.14/5 (7 votes cast)

The Dainese Torque D1 Air Motorcycle Race Boots

Are you the kind of person who is always decked from head to toe in Italian riding apparel? Well, no reason to ditch that allegiance when you get the track, thanks to the new Dainese Torque D1 Air Race Boots. Or maybe you’re just a Valentino Rossi fan. Whatever it is, the Dainese Torque D1 Air race boot is one of the best in the business.

We’re saying that after putting in over 1000 kilometers on the road as well as a few kilometer on the track.

What makes the Dainese Torque D1 Air cool? Besides look that good, you mean? Well, how about D-Axial joints to prevent ankle-twist, active ventilation, magnesium toe sliders and a CE-Level 2 safety rating? Plus a calf-circumference adjustment for a custom fit and a rear entry, making it one of the easiest motorcycle boots to get in and out of.

Continue Reading

  • Currently 3.33/5
Rating: 3.33/5 (3 votes cast)


Do you like MotoGP racing? Which team do you like?

  •  Yamaha
  •  Honda
  •  Ducati
  •  Apriiia
  •  Suzuki
  •  KTM
  •  No Specific Team
This poll has 0 more questions.
Other polls | 821 votes | 0 Comments
Thai Motorcycle Enterprise Association
There are no upcoming events
What's New
Comments  last 2 days
Motorcycle Thailand on Facebook
Motorcycle Thailand on Facebook
My Account