Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Author Passed Away

Robert Pirsig, author of the iconic novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, has died at the age of 88 ‘after a period of failing health’.

After being rejected by more than 120 publishers, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was published in 1974 to rave reviews and huge popularity. It remained near the top of the best-sellers list for a decade and has sold around five million copies.

Loosely autobiographical, it is a first-person father-son story that draws on a 17-day motorcycle trip Robert Pirsig took across the US in 1968 with his 11-year-old son, Chris. The story is widely viewed as a reflection on metaphysics and existential philosophy rather than a book on how to repair a motorcycle. It also contains flashbacks to a period in which the author was diagnosed as schizophrenic.

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The Affordable Road Legal Ducati V4 Desmosedici Confirmed

The ongoing story of Ducati’s forthcoming V4-powered road-legal superbike is sure to be the story in the business for 2017, and now the Ducati motorsport director Paolo Ciabatti has dropped more details about it.

Speaking to the press at the Imola WSBK round, Paolo Ciabatti confirmed the new motorcycle will be powered by a variation of the latst Desmosedici MotoGP engine.

‘There is not much I can say about this, honestly, but it is a kind of evolution of the plan for sportsbikes for Ducati,’ he said.

Developing a new engine for MotoGP in 2015 – which is what we are still using with some modifications and updates – was a good base for a production engine.

The project is there and you do not have to design a brand-new engine. You just need to make that concept work into a production engine.

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Thai Made Honda Rebel 500 Officially Launched in Indonesia

Yesterday evening the Thai made Honda Rebel 500 (CMX500) was officially launched in Indonesia. The new Honda Bobber-styled motorcycle received a positive response from the people that attended the launch party at the main Honda motorcycle dealer in Jakarta.

At the single evening event Honda was able to sell more than 40 Honda Rebel 500 motorcycles. The first Honda Rebel 500 motorcycles are expected to be delivered not later than August.

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The Royal Enfield Continental GT750 Parallel-Twin Seen in India

After spy picture first emerged from Spain, the upcoming Royal Enfield 750cc twin has been spotted in India. The Royal Enfield Continental GT750 gets an all-new 750cc air-cooled, fuel-injected parallel-twin engine that exhales through twin exhausts pipes.

The Royal Enfield Continental GT750’s engine is expected to make around 50 horsepower, significantly higher than the Continental GT500’s 29 horsepower.

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Motorcycling and the Future

For years, I’ve been laboring the point that motorcycle design and technology follows that of cars. And often with a lag of many years. The finances of the motorcycle industry are very little compared to the automobile world, which is why for many years the two arguably most innovative two-wheel companies are Honda and BMW. Both have car divisions that can bankroll their less profitable motorcycle siblings, and cross-pollinate a whole bunch of technology that they could otherwise simply not afford.

It’s also why I was one of the few who openly applauded Audi’s takeover of Ducati. And me, a 1098owner, no less. Has Ducati lost its Italian flair in the interim, as everyone feared? Nope. But their financial is certainly more secure.

Well, despite this inspired wisdom on motorcycle hand-me-downs, things might be about to change. Road transportation is at a turning point, after which, cars are going to be very different beasts than the ones we’ve grown up with. Some of the latest car design studies have no windows, because nobody will need to see where they’re going. Afew interiors offer swiveling seats around a central table, so the occupants can have a business meeting, or share in a friendly family environment while hurting down the highway. One recent BMW study featured bookshelves no less, illustrating the company’s confidence in accident-free autonomous motoring.

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14 New BMW Motorcycles Confirmed for 2018

Herald Kruger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW Motorrad, used his 2017 interim report to announce that there will be 14 new models in the next year and that customers will be able to choose between a ‘wide range of different drive trains’.

Now, before you get very excited, many of these will be small updates for Euro4 exhaust emission rules, or existing motorcycles that we already know about which have not yet made it to showrooms – like the BMW K1600 Bagger, which is now classed as a 2018 model.

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Ducati again for Sale?

Volkswagen are considering a sale of Ducati as part of their mission to streamline the business in the wake of the emissions scandal, according to the Reuters news agency.

VW are said to have appointed investment specialists Evercore, who are apparently evaluating possible options for the sale after VW’s Audi division purchased the brand in 2012. Although the exact price has never been confirmed, the 2012 purchase of Ducati was said to be worth approximately 860 million Euro.

Reuters says their source told them that Ducati have annual earnings of 100 million Euro before tax, which would give the company a valuation of between 1 to 1.5 billion Euro.

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The Benelli 1200 Big Bore Triple-Cylinder Engine

About 6 months ago we brought you the first pictures of Benelli’s future 1200cc touring bike and now we have seen images of the new three-cylinder engine that’s going to power it and also, more than likely, a big-bore adventure bike.

These pictures, from a Chinese design patent, reveal in detail Benelli’s new triple cylinder engine. While they show the name Qjiang – reflecting Benelli’s Chinese ownership by the QiangJiang Group – the cam cover still proudly bears the Benelli name. Although partially hidden by hoses feeding the oil cooler, there’s also what appears to be a ‘1200’ script on the right-hand side of the cylinder casting.

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With New Bike Down in Deep Gravel

As a adventurous motorcycle rider, the least noble place to suddenly find yourself is on the ground. Yet there was, spooned up companionably with my latest adventure bike, in soft, deep gravel.

‘Damn it!’ I shouted angrily at the blue sky and actually relaxed a bit after I noticed a few clouds, my left knee and ankle pinched awkwardly under the heavy machine. Yes I was perturbed, but I wasn’t quite seeing red.

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The 2017 Yamaha YZF-R15 vs Honda CBR150R

People have asked me, why the latest Yamaha YZF-R15 is the better 150 class sportbike in Thailand... The answer to start with, the single-cylinder, four-valve, liquid-cooled engine now has in the 2017 Yamaha YZF-R15 model a displacement of 155.1cc as compared to 149cc in the existing model. This is mainly due to a larger cylinder bore of 58mm as compared to 57mm in the outgoing model. The compression ratio has gone up from 10.4:1 to 11.6:1. The engine also gets variable valve actuation for an even torque curve.

The engine and performance figures for the Honda CBR150R has not much changed since it was reintroduced with PGM-FI (fuel-injection) system.

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