Showing posts with label naked. Show all posts
Showing posts with label naked. Show all posts

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Steve McQueen Limited-Edition Triumph – Richard Pollock

When I get an email from Richard Pollock of Mule Motorcycles, I always get a bit excited – it’s like getting the ultimate care package. Once again, Richard did not disappoint: a makeover for a Steve McQueen Limited-Edition Triumph. The other bonus about receiving a build story from Richard: being a natural storyteller, he knows how to spin a yarn. So, I give you the story of this build as told by Richard himself.

  Steve McQueen Limited-Edition Triumph
“Steve McQueen liked bikes and cars, not because it enhanced his celebrity, but because he was a gearhead first. He bankrolled ‘On Any Sunday’ not for himself, but rather to promote the fun and camaraderie of motorcycle racing and riding, and also to showcase the guys that were his true heroes.” – richard pollock

Limited-Edition Triumph By Richard Pollock

Generally speaking, I love the new Triumph twins. To me, they’re an incredible starting point to build from. They’re super reliable and the chassis’ respond well to all sorts of upgrades. A builder’s dream. I guess that’s why you see so many currently being built. All that said, Triumph seems to have some odd ideas for “Special” models, merely changing colors of the paint, the seat cover and fitting strange handlebars or exhaust. If it were me, I’d funnel much more of the factory design energy into getting the basic platform to be closer to the wasp-like proportions of the original Bonnevilles or Scramblers and give them some umph!
Steve McQueen Limited-Edition Triumph
This project began with a call from San Francisco. The intent being to build a trick, unique, Bonnie based, everyday street bike to replace a Steve McQueen limited edition unit recently stolen. The email and phone discussions based on how extensive the build was to be and whether the donor bike would be provided by the customer or the builder. The customer is a designer himself and for sure wanted something very unique! The emails ended for a week or so. Then, the news that the stolen bike had been recovered!! This bike would become the basis for the build.
Steve McQueen Limited-Edition Triumph
As is my preference, I was given free rein to design the build and make improvements that would yield the most improvement for dollars spent. There was a bit of theft damage, but nothing that couldn’t be dealt with. There were just a couple of guidelines. Keep the paint in the original SM green, 2 into 1 exhaust, larger (actually functional!), luggage rack and most important…retain the heated grips! It gets cold riding in S.F.!
“Generally speaking, I love the new Triumph twins. To me, they’re an incredible starting point to build from. They’re super reliable and the chassis’ respond well to all sorts of upgrades. A builder’s dream.”
Steve McQueen Limited-Edition Triumph
Having built 25 of the triumphs now, I’ve developed a group of components that give lots of bang for the buck. Steve McQueen #319, as this bike came to be known. There was a run of only a 1000 built, got Mule triple clamps, Racetech re-worked Yamaha R-6 forks, Brembo front rotor and caliper, Mule lightweight hubs (the rear hub being 14lbs lighter than stock!), Mule 2-1 stainless exhaust, Racetec/Mule shocks, Mule oil cooler kit, stainless bars, 18” Sun Rims with stainless spokes and Bridgestone tires and lastly, motor work taking the stock motor to a whole new level of performance. Headwork, cams, 904cc kit and a Power Commander for tweaking the fuel injection.
Steve McQueen Limited-Edition Triumph
A custom front fender mount attaches the severely trimmed stock fender to the R-6 forks and the rear fender that nearly wrapped all the way around the wheel was trimmed leaving just a hint of the original under the seat. A custom luggage rack required its own weld fixture to fabricate and uses nothing from the original rack except the mounting location and color.
Steve McQueen Limited-Edition Triumph
I hated to see this bike go. The ride is like a bike bearing the Steve McQueen namesake should be. Exciting, fun with a performance look. Much more than merely a paint job and stickers.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Spied: Triumph 250cc Spotted Testing-India Bound In 2015 In 2 Versions?

Triumph made its India foray by launching their line-up for India on the 28th of November. But you might be interested in knowing that Triumph has been working all-along on a new 250cc entry level sport bike. It has been spotted testing and is expected to be launched in India in 2015 and maybe Europe and US.
It will be manufactured in India at Triumph’s Narsapura facility for global and emerging markets. It will be a single cylinder, producing around 25 Bhp and will compete against the likes of the CBR250R. These are amongst the first clear pictures of the new 250.
It has a twin headlamp setup and a full fairing, this is bound to appeal to the Indian enthusiasts looking for a fully faired motorcycle. Step-up seat, grab rails for pillion, 5-spoke alloy wheels, single disc setup for the front tyre and rear.  New Triumph 250cc might also be available in a naked version with its design inspired by the street triple.
From the initial looks of it, it has a slightly aggressive front styling and these prototypes featured here look quite good! The Triumph range currently starts from 9300 USD ex-showroom for the Bonneville. Hopefully this 250cc will come at a price that will give the CBR250R a run for its money! Sporty design, good ergonomics for day to day use, excellent engine performance combined with top notch handling prowess have the potential to make it one of the best 250cc in the market. However, only time will tell if Triumph can deliver on all these fronts.

Triumph makes some of the best motorcycles and they have a long legacy for building great motorcycles. Here’s a short video to give you an idea of what the company represents and all that it brings to you in terms of sheer pleasure of motorcycling.
The following video will make you want to jump on a Triumph Motorcycle and ride into the Horizon: 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

EICMA hangover and analysis- CMG Part 1

It's that time of year, when all the manufacturers drop their new models ... like this hot-rodded FZ-09 from Yamaha.
It’s that time of year, when all the manufacturers drop their new models … like this hot-rodded FZ-09 from Yamaha.

The staff from Canada prepared a very good overview of the EICMA 2013:

With the big guns all having fired their loads at Milan’s EICMA show this week, we thought it would be a good time to take a look at what was released and what that tells us about the industry.


Since we’re all huge fans of smaller displacement rides here at CMG, the continued growth and evolution of this segment is good to see. But, it seems we’re already  seeing a shift up in CCs with Honda unveiling their new CBR300 which we assume will come to Canada (though it is yet to be confirmed) and so push out the 250. You can blame the increase in size on Kawasaki, who cunningly refused to hit back at Honda in the 250 fight, instead making their own new category, the 300, with the launch of the Ninja 300 earlier this year.
Obviously Honda seems to think that this is where it’s at with their CBR300 move. But, will big-boring their single-cylinder to 286 cc and changing the bodywork be enough to take on the twin Ninja? MSRP is still to be released, and we suspect that is where you’ll see the Honda attack. If they can keep MSRP difference to about $800 with performance at least close to the Ninja, then we’d have a real fight on our hands.
Here's Honda's CBR300, a shot over the bow of the Kawasaki Ninja 300.
Here’s Honda’s CBR300, a shot over the bow of the Kawasaki Ninja 300.

We have to wonder if the move to 300 was just the first in the sadly typical cycle of bumping up capacities, until what you thought was small is now mid-range. But with Honda already having the 500s it would seem like there’s a natural barrier, and besides, there are other players entering the fray too …
The KTM RC390 splits the difference between the 250 class and the 500 class.
The KTM RC390 splits the difference between the 250 class and the 500 class.

KTM has maybe made the biggest splash in this market with a trio of new small capacity sport bikes. These include a race-styled RC125, RC200 and RC390 and although we very much doubt all three will appear here, we’re betting that at least the 390 will (and maybe the 390 Duke naked bike as well). After all, it was KTM’s Canadian importer who accidentally posted info of the 390 last week and took all the thunder out of its intended EICMA launch.
This move effectively splits the 300 and 500 class down the middle. It’s also going to add a lot of spice to smaller bikes as KTM is a dominant power in the Moto 3 (250 class) world racing series, so they know how to get a lot of power out of a small bike. Don’t expect it to be priced to compete with the CBR and Ninjas though.
Triumph introduced a few new big models, like this Commander, but they are also working on a 250.
Triumph introduced a few new big models, like this Commander, but they are also working on a 250.

Let’s not forget Triumph. Up ’til now, they seemed to believe bigger was better, reinforced with its presentation of new Thunderbird models at EICMA. But then up popped a slide of their new 250 Daytona. Okay, it was only a sketch, but apparently the motor is in the metal and they seem to think that they have to let everyone know it’s coming at this early stage, so we should see something around this time next year (although it may be a 300 or 39o by then!).

Yamaha's introduced their SR400 to western markets again.
Yamaha’s introduced their SR400 to western markets again.

Oh, and can you add Yamaha’s SR 400 to this fray? We think so, especially since it’s a bike that has effectively been around since the seventies and so likely comparable or slightly lower power than any of the others. The interesting thing about the SR is that it’s a real retro small bike (even going so far as to only have a kick starter with no electric boot to help) and so likely will be in a class of its own. Judging by the responses to it on the CMG comments section, if Yamaha do decide to bring it here and don’t knobble it with an unrealistically high price, Canada’s streets should have a lot of SRs booting about in the near future.


If we hadn’t seen the leaks about the new Harley 500 and 750s, then they’d have stolen the show, representing the first all new bikes to come out of Milwaukee since the V-Rod hit the scene back in 2001.The new bikes are actually made in India at Harley’s new plant, only to be shipped and assembled in Milwaukee, to keep some Made in America aspect. Whether this is enough for the faithful remains to be seen, but it can be argued that these bikes are not aimed at the faithful anyway, but instead a sensible move by the Motor Company to start people off on their machines rather than try and convert them once they’ve already begun.
This Hog - or is that a Piglet? - is Harley-Davidson's first all-new model since the V-Rod.
This Hog – or is that a Piglet? – is Harley-Davidson’s first all-new model since the V-Rod.
Styling cues seem about right and Harley-Davidson even released a sound file so you can hear the potato-potato sound that is a defining attribute to the brand. It remains to be seen whether they will replace the 883 Sportster or whether the riding public will embrace the new Indian angle. Who knows, maybe it’s a cunning plan to piggyback on the new Indians that are coming from Polaris, though those are made in the US of course?
The new CBR650F is a return to practical sport bikes.
The new CBR650F is a return to practical sport bikes.

Honda have continued on its push to grab market share with yet another big release of new models. We’ve already covered the CBR300 but the new CB(R)650Fs deserve a look at.
If you remember the old CBR600F4, then the CBR650 will remind you of the days when 600 sport bikes had a modicum of practicality to them – somewhat comfortable seats, higher bars and rearset footpegs that are actually for the passenger, not the rider. Honda has boosted capacity a little from the old 600 and produced two versions – a sporty CBR  and a semi-naked CB. Honda Canada hasn’t confirmed whether we’ll get either, but the CB would make a good replacement for the ailing CBF600 that is currently being listed on Honda Canada’s site with a hefty $2,500 discount, and the CBR is good competitor for the very similar Yamaha FZ6R and Suzuki GSX650F. 
The MT-07 looks fun, but likely won't come to Canada.
The MT-07 looks fun, but likely won’t come to Nord America.

But what of the mid-range twin class, currently occupied by Kawasaki’s 650 Versys or  Suzuki’s Gladius? Enter Yamaha’s new MT-07. Yamaha continue to mess with other-than four cylinders with last year’s FZ-09 triple (known in Europe as the MT-07) and now this year’s new MT-07  inline twin (likely to be badged an FZ-07 if it comes here).  Styling is similar to its FZ-09 bigger brother and at a claimed 178Kg wet it’s a good 25 kilos lighter than the competition. Alas, supposedly it’s not coming to North America, sigh.
The new CTX1300 takes the ST1300's motor and puts it into a cruiser chassis.
The new CTX1300 takes the ST1300′s motor and puts it into a cruiser chassis.

Other new bikes include Honda’s CTX1300 cruiser-tourer that uses the aging but solid ST1300 motor in a CTX styled chassis and a bit of F6B thrown in for good measure. We’re not sure if the CTX styling is something that Honda should be adopting, but it’s an easy way to add a new tourer to the line up. Then there’s BMW’s naked S1000RR; the S1000R (losing one R with all the plastic) is BMW’s new streetfighter coming in with a whole lot of power and $3,000 less than its double R’d father (@$14,700). Keeping with sport bikes reinvented, Ducati released a new 1200 Monster onto the world that uses the Panigale’s 1198 cc Testastretta motor, replete with 135 hp (at 8,750 rpm) and 87 ft-lb of torque. Who needs fairings anyway?
Here's the new Turismo Veloce. It's got adventure-touring lines.
Here’s the new Turismo Veloce. It’s got adventure-touring lines.

And finally, small but inventive Italian company MV Agusta seems to be finding their stride and launched a sport-touring Turismo Veloce. It uses the same three-cylinder 798 cc motor that MV Agusta has in the F3 800 and Rivale but comes with taller suspension and hard bags and is directed at bikes like Ducati’s Multistrada. The bike will be coming to Canada but may take a while to get here.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bandit9 Nero MKII Motorcycle

Beijing-based workshop Bandit9 is pretty serious about its motorcycles. Following up on the Nero model released last year, the company has lifted the garage doors for a sleek upgrade onto the streets. Beautifully finished with a matte black paint, the bike features a custom-fit gas tank, handlebars, fork and footpegs, all of which are completely exposed to reinforce the raw, utilitarian aesthetic. Interested parties will want to submit their requests sooner rather than later, as the roaring machine is limited to nine models worldwide. Check out the Nero MKII on Bandit9′s website now.

One of the most attractive parts of riding a motorcycle is standing out from the pack of minivans, subcompacts, and SUVs that dominate the roads — you want to look original, different, independent. And you'd be hard-pressed to find anything on two wheels that looks as distinct as the Bandit9 Nero MKII Motorcycle ($TBA). This completely custom ride is one of just nine models available, and looks so unique most people won't even understand what they're seeing. With a custom gas tank, rear cowl, handlebars, fork, and foot pegs, as well as the curved dual exhausts, exposed suspension, and completely matte black paint job, you're definitely bound to turn a few heads (and get a few jealous stares).
Source: Uncrate

Image of Bandit9 Nero MKII Motorcycle

Nero MKII Bandit9

Nero MKII Bandit9

Nero MKII Bandit9

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

2013 EICMA: 2014 Zero SR- First electrical high spec Moto

Can this new 2014 Zero SR banish memories of bicycle brakes and no-name tires? Now with serious acceleration, real motorcycle components and a genuinely useful range, this new Zero SR promises to be a good motorcycle, not just an electric one.
Accelerating to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds and topping out at 102 mph, this new 67 bhp Zero should be able to keep ahead of both city and highway traffic. As stock ($16,995) Zero claims the 11.4 kWh SR has a 93 mile range in combined city and highway riding. Adding the optional “Power Tank” takes capacity up to 14.2 kWh, which boosts that combined range to 116 miles. Stick to city speeds and the Power Tank-equipped SR can reach 171 miles.
Zero SR
2014 Zero SR electric motorcycle
In other good news, real motorcycle forks, 43mm in diameter, are fitted for the first time. They’re adjustable for compression and rebound damping. The remote reservoir shocks are fully adjustable, but there’s no word on who makes either component.
Looking closely at the tires, we do see an actual brand name on them. Unfortunately, that appears to be “IRC” and the model looks like “Road Winner.” If so, then these are the same non-radial, bias ply items fitted to the $3,999 Suzuki GW250. Still, that’s an actual motorcycle!
 Zero SR
2014 Zero SR
Unlike arch-rival Brammo and its $16,995 Marzocchi/Sachs/Brembo-equipped and radial tire-fitted Empulse, the SR does without a gearbox, shedding weight and boosting efficiency.
Using a standard 110v home outlet, recharging the stock SR will take eight hours, while the Power Tank takes that up to 10 hours total. Those numbers can drop as low as 1.5 hours if you can find a CHAdeMO quick charge station.
 Zero SR
2014 Zero SR
“You will also notice a much more refined look and feel to the entire Zero product range as we’ve spent a great deal of time sweating the details,” states Zero Marketing VP Scott Harden. “This is evident as soon as you climb on board as our new cockpit layout and instrumentation package offers increased utility, a sleeker look and more aerodynamic integration with the headlight.”

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