Author: Matt Coopz

Ducati Drops Biggest Hint Yet Of A Larger Engined Scrambler

Ducati Drops Biggest Hint Yet Of A Larger Engined Scrambler

Ducati has dropped the biggest hint yet that it may be considering a larger engined Scrambler, possibly an 1100cc, at the recent launch of the Scrambler Sixty2 in Barcelona. The Scrambler range has been the success that Ducati was hoping for, with the bike proving very popular around the world. There are currently 7 variants of the Ducati Scrambler, including the limited edition Italia Independent, but the company has made it clear it wants to create more models. Ducati has suggested there are possibilities of expanding the range even further with the current engines, but that there is room in the range for other engine capacities as well. The largest engine currently used in the Scrambler range is the 800cc Desmodue that has been retuned for 55 kW and 68 Nm. The 400cc engine in the Sixty2 is derived from that same engine but has a reduced bore and stroke. It produces 30.2 kW and 34.6 Nm. Despite the “Sixty2” being a reference to the 1962 250cc Scrambler, a smaller engine variant than the 400cc has been ruled out and the Sixty2 will remain the entry level machine. The larger engine is likely to be an 1100cc but not a variant of the high performance powerplants used in Ducati’s sports bike range because it would not fit with the two-valve, air-cooled engine philosophy of the Scrambler. Instead, the most likely engine choice would be the 1100cc Desmodue Evoluzione that was last used in the Monster EVO in 2013. That engine would need some re-working to ensure it met Euro 4 emissions standards, but that would probably be a more viable option than designing a new engine from scratch. Whether the added capacity, power and weight of a bigger engine would appeal to the market or detract from the Scrambler heritage is something Ducati is certain to consider.

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Honda Confirms The “Grom” For Australia

Honda Confirms The “Grom” For Australia

Honda Australia has confirmed it will bring the quirky but fun Honda Grom to Australia around the middle of the year. The compact commuter has been a hit in other markets, especially in the US where it took out Motorcycle USA magazine’s Motorcycle of the Year award for 2014. The little bike has wowed riders all over the world with its simple and lightweight design. The little pocket rocket is known under a variety of names around the world. In the UK it is known as a Honda MSX 125, it’s a Motrac M3 in many Asian markets and a Skyteam M3 in some European markets. Regardless of its name, it seems to translate to fun. The Grom has caught the attention of custom bike builders, there’s been gymkhana events run with them and one guy even shoehorned a Ducati 1199 Panigale engine into one (because he could). Such is the popularity of the bike around the world. The Grom has a fuel injected 125cc air-cooled single cylinder four-stroke engine that is certainly not most powerful ever built – we’re talking 7.5 kW and peak torque of 10.8 Nm – but doesn’t lack for performance. The little bike weighs in at a very trim 102kg, manages a surprisingly high top speed of around 110km/h and sensational fuel consumption of around 2.5 litres per 100km. The bike has a conventional four speed gearbox and clutch. It has inverted front forks, monoshock rear suspension, hydraulic disc brakes both front and rear and lightweight 12-inch wheels with wide, low profile tyres. The Grom is about  3/4 the size of a regular motorcycle, but despite its compact size is quite comfortable even for an adult. Australian models will be available in three colours – Burning Red, Hyper Yellow and Eclipse Black. While the price for the Honda Grom is yet to be announced, a best guess would put it at around $3,000.

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Fully Electric Fun Bike From YCF

Fully Electric Fun Bike From YCF

The Australian distributor of French brand YCF has said they will have the recently released all electric YCF 50E fun bike here by April. YCF builds a range of fun, pit and entry level dirt bikes with engine capacities ranging from 50cc to 190cc in its manufacturing facility in China. The brand came to Australia last year and there are now 14 bikes available. The bikes do not comply with Australian design rules and cannot be registered for on-road use, but are intended for restricted use on closed and private tracks. There are two completely new models for 2016 – the YCF 50A and YCF 50E, both targeted at children. The YCF 50A runs a 49cc 4 stroke, air cooled, single cylinder engine. It has a 4 speed automatic gearbox, electric start and weighs just 42kg ready to ride. It sells for $1,699 ride away. The YCF 50E is an alternative to YCF 50A, and is fully electric. It is powered by a 1200W electric engine and has a total battery capacity of 10,000mAh. No details of the bike’s range or charge time are readily available. YCF says the bike is perfect for children living in suburban areas where any level of noise is an issue. The chassis, suspension and brakes are identical on both bikes. The weight of the 50E electric is surprisingly lighter at 36kg, 8 kg less than the petrol powered 50A. The electric YCF 50E sells for $2,499. The dealership network is growing steadily, and there are now over 30 dealers around the country. More details and dealer locations can be found at the YCF Australia website.

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Development Begins On Barry Sheene Feature Film

Development Begins On Barry Sheene Feature Film

The life story of motorcycle legend Barry Sheene is to be depicted in a movie. Development of the film based on the book “Barry: The Story of Motorcycling Legend Barry Sheene” is said to be well underway in a press release from the producers. Barry has been described as the most charismatic and influential motorcycle champion of all time. His charming but rebellious nature endeared him to people all over the world, and he is widely credited with transforming Grand Prix motorcycle racing into a global phenomenon. He fought with authorities and brought about many improvements in the safety of motorcycle racing and innovations in rider safety equipment. Barry’s career in racing began in 1968, and his long list of triumphs include world 500cc titles in 1976 and 1977. He had two near-fatal crashes during his racing career, but his crash at Daytona in 1975 remains one of the most famous crashes in motorcycle racing history. Sheene crashed his Suzuki RG500 at 290km/h in a private test in preparation for the Daytona 200. Whether the crash was caused by a tyre failure or engine issue is still hotly debated. Images of the crash are still widely distributed across the internet 40 years later. But it wasn’t just the severity of the crash and his injuries that made the crash so memorable, but his remarkable recovery. Despite breaking his left thigh, right arm, collarbone and two ribs, he was racing again seven weeks later. Rumour is too that there’s footage of Barry flirting with nurses, and even trying to pinch the butt of one, while laying in the hospital emergency room. Barry retired from racing in 1984, and moved to Australia a few years later with his wife Stephanie and two children in the hope that the warmer climate would help relieve some of the pain of his injury induced arthritis. Once in Australia he set himself up as a property developer and found his way into TV. He endeared himself to Australians as a motorsport commentator and as Dick Johnson’s side kick in a series of very popular and funny TV ads for Shell in the 90’s. Barry Sheene died on the Gold Coast in 2003 after an eight month battle with cancer. The film is being jointly produced by Will Stoppard from Deep Springs Pictures in the UK, and Rod Morris of IO Films in Australia. The production team have released a teaser video, and more news is being added regularly to the Sheene film website and on the their Facebook and Twitter channels.

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Petrucci Tops Timesheet On First Day Of Phillip Island MotoGP Test

Petrucci Tops Timesheet On First Day Of Phillip Island MotoGP Test

Rain has affected the first day of MotoGP testing at Phillip Island, but at the end of the day it was Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci on top of the timesheet. Petrucci made the most of the dry track time at the end of the day, putting in a time of 1:34.764 to finish just over 0.7 second ahead of second fastest Maverick Viñales (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR). Teams arrived to overcast skies and a wet track for the beginning of the second official pre-season MotoGP test at the Phillip Island Circuit. Intermittent rain throughout the day kept the majority of riders inside the pits until the weather cleared and the track dried in the final hour. The rain prevented the teams from completing any major tests, but did allow them to get a better understanding of how the Michelin tyres and new ECU software perform in the wet. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa was the first rider onto the circuit and he ran a number of laps on wet tyres. By the end of the day he had completed only 15 laps and his best time of 1:40.138 placed him well down the timesheet at 17th. Team mate Marc Marquez waited until the rain eased and ventured out on a new intermediate tyre. His best time of the day was 1:35.354. Valentino Rossi tested the 2016 Yamaha with the fuel tank in the rear, and ran most if his 27 laps in the wet. He missed his first chance to run on a dry track but managed to get a quick lap in the closing minutes of the day. His final time of 1:33.088 was good enough to secure him 6th fastest of the day. His Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, completed 22 laps in the wet, the most wet laps of any rider. He failed to improve on his wet weather time of 1:39.825 which left him at 16th fastest. Australia’s Jack Miller was able to ride for the first time since breaking his leg. The Marc VDS Racing Team planned for Jack to do just 25 laps to assess the condition of his leg, but that was reduced to only six laps because of the track conditions. He still managed to record the ninth fastest time at 1:33.992. With such varying conditions at the circuit today, lap times really don’t give an accurate indication of performance. Testing resumes tomorrow, and teams are hoping for more consistent and dry conditions.

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