Honda and Yamaha Discuss Collaboration


Discussions have begun between Honda and Yamaha over a possible business alliance in the electric and small-engine scooter market. Initially this would commence in their home Japanese market, but could spread further afield.

A time target of 2018 has been set for this to happen with Honda supplying OEM machines based on their home market ‘TACT’ and ‘Giorno’ scooters, which Yamaha will sell as the ‘JOG’ and Vino.

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Honda - The name on the tank no longer means what it used to


Those of us who grew up in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s had a sense of the importance of Honda in the scheme of things. It changed motorcycling by making motorcycles that were reliable and oil-tight, and were a practical alternative to a car – a service life of over 100,000 kilometers was no longer a dream but a reality. You could do 160km/h on a single-cam Honda Inline-Four every day without the motorcycle complaining or you having to rebuild it every weekend.

Sure, some models in some categories lacked the sparkle of competitor motorcycles from Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki, but that didn’t matter. If it said ‘Honda’ on the fuel tank, everyone knew you were on a winner for durability and reliability.

Not content with world domination on two wheels, Honda started making cars, the first few where powered by a 360cc twin-engine based on the engine from the CBR360. As far as I know, not much survived. Honda got distracted by its success, however, and lost the plot with motorcycles for a period while it concentrated more on cars.

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Peugeot Scooters Launched in Vietnam - Thailand Next?


Two French riders have ridden a pair of Peugeot Django scooters 12,070 kilometers from Paris to Ho-Chi-Minh City to celebrate the arrival of Peugeot scooters in Vietnam.

The Paris – Ho-Chi-Minh trip reversed the route two French soldiers did on a pair of Peugeot S57 scooters – from Saigon to Paris – in 1956.

According to a representative from Mahindra, the current owner of Peugeot Motorcycles, the Vietnam introduction is the stepping stone for more locations in Southeast Asia and ASEAN countries in special. We only got a smile when we asked if Thailand would be next...

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The Moto Guzzi History


The basis for every Moto Guzzi V-twin comes from an Italian Ministry of Defense requirement for an all-terrain three wheeled tractor. The factory came up with a then-unique 754cc pushrod V-twin power unit. Although only delivering 20 horsepower at 4,000rpm, the engine was capable of producing mountains of torque. Period late 1950s images show the 3x3 trike fitted with tracks to its rear wheels climbing almost vertical surfaces. Someone, somewhere realizes the innate potential of the transverse engine.

Come the early 1960s and Moto Guzzi is looking for a new large capacity motorcycle and the 3x3 engine receives a makeover to deliver a 700cc powerplant that’s fitted into a new frame to produce a 50 horsepower machine that debuts at the 1965 Milan Motor Show.

Subsequent road tests show just how good the machine is; fast, happy to rev yet blessed with a fairly linear torque curve. Handling is excellent and the motorcycle comes with an electric start as standard with no kickstart fitted. The motorcycle rivals BMW in some areas and outperforms it in others. The success is in no small part due to the genius that is Ing. Giulio Cesare Carcarno, the man who designed the legendary V8 Guzzi racer.

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Adventure Bike Trail Riding


I love to do some off-road trail riding with my adventure bike in the weekend, but that can also be frustrating – especially when you encounter other riders who clearly not have much experience riding off-road. Here are some tips to help those riders to flow through it…

First I would start to say relax. Try to start at a pace that allows you to be relatively relaxed. If you go into single-trail and try to ride fast instantly, you’ll struggle to keep up and start making mistakes. This turns into riding tight and then using more energy and so on. Slow your speed down a little and let it come to you; you will be more relaxed and then things will get easier.

Second thing is look ahead. Keep your vision up and try to look to the next turn as early as possible. When it gets real tight and is switching back on itself a lot, the more you can try to look ahead the easier it will be. Any chance you get, try to scan through the trees and get an idea of where the trail heads over the next three or four turns – that will also make a big difference. Try not to look just corner to corner because that’s exactly how you’ll tend to ride and it will become very stop-start.

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Mahindra BSA Business Plan


Mahindra recently announced that BSA Motorcycles will not fall under the Mahindra brand and that they will be established as independent brand. Stylistically, the motorcycles will hark back to the older models, but will naturally feature new and modern technology.

When asked about the engineering inputs required to develop motorcycles under the BSA brand, the Mahindra spokes person stated that the company would tap into Mahindra Racing, Peugeot, as well as other independent firms. While the brand will be niche, the BSA motorcycles will be at the higher end of the market. BSA will be built overseas at a location still undecided.

The motorcycles, however, are about two years away from market launch.

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KTM Issues Worldwide Recall for Faulty ABS


KTM has issued a worldwide recall for the KTM 1190 Adventure, Adventure R and 1290 Super Adventure R due to a faulty ABS control module and brake line.

‘Following market investigations by KTM it has been determined that due to deviations in the assembly process, in isolated cases, contact may occur between the wiring harness and the ABS modulator,’ says a release from KTM. ‘Measurements have shown that an electrical connection may be created via the brake line between the ABS modulator and the vehicle ground.

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James Bond Skyfall Motorcycle sold for 18,400 US Dollar


Should you ever need to take a fast trip across Istanbul rooftops before crashing through a window into the Grand Bazaar, this is the motorcycle for you.

Honda supplied 20 units of its 250cc motocrossers for use in the opening sequence of the 2012 movie Skyfall. Stunt doubles for James Bond (Robbie Maddison) and villain Patrice rode the motorcycles through the spice market, up staircases and along meter-wide elevated walkways in the chase scene.

Other Hondas were set up as camera tenders to film the fast action across the rooftops and through the narrow marketplaces.

The most special motorcycle, although decked out in the livery of the Turkish traffic police, was Patrice’s mount in the chase scene. Being a resourceful villain, he had commandeered a cop’s motorcycle and blasted off into the distance. James Bond hijacked a bystander’s bike, also a disguised CRF250R, and took off in pursuit.

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Benelli Parent Company Qianjiang Made a 1200cc Touring Bike


Qianjiang, the parent company of Benelli motorcycles have designed a new large-capacity tourer. Qianjiang will be supplying the Chinese traffic police with this motorcycles.

Qianjiang has previously confirmed that it intends to make a range of 1200cc three-cylinder Benelli motorcycles using an engine that takes its inspiration from the existing 1130cc triple. This looks like it will be the first of those motorcycles.

Although it’s impossible to see much of the engine in the pictures released by the company, it’s clearly an in-line design. Meanwhile, the machine’s codename – QJ1200GS – confirms it’s a 1200cc.

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Yamaha YZF-R3 engine problems after recall fixed


I have to confess that these past few months have been a bit busy. Most of us have been on the road for the most part. This meant the Yamaha YZF-R3 has been a bit neglected of late. Hence the low amount of kilometers on the clock.

The last time you heard about the little blue machine, everything was hunky-dory, and I was just waiting for some new tires. Around the same time, Yamaha had issued a recall of Yamaha YZF-R3. This was to replace some faulty components – the oil pump assembly and the clutch pressure plates. To be honest, I hadn’t had any problems such as clutch slippage or oil pump failure, so I was considering ignoring the recall. But then I decided against that. Why take a risk? So off it went to be fixed.

Now that the motorcycle is back, I really can’t tell any noticeable difference. But considering you really don’t feel anything wrong with the clutch or oil pump till they start malfunctioning, this isn’t saying much. But since the motorcycle also got a full service along with the recall, it has become a lot smoother and feels a lot tighter. It’s come back with a nice layer of polish on it too, and it looks shiny and new.

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How many times have you crashed your motorcycle in the last three years?

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