After a mere 4 months since spending two weeks in intensive care following a nasty crash in the Japanese MotoGP Alex de Angelis will be making his World Superbike debut aboard the Aprilia. He acknowledges that he not only has to adapt to new machinery, he will need to test his physical condition after such a long period off a bike. Phillip Island will be his first chance to test the bike and himself after missing the pre-season sessions in Spain. “In the test I’ll get my first taste of a Superbike, which I’ve never tried before. I’m sure that IodaRacing have a greater chance of doing well in WorldSBK as opposed to MotoGP and I hope to get back into the top positions, which I haven’t been able to do for a while and I miss it. “The Aprilia was a winning bike at the end of 2015 and we will have to see what the difference is now after the other marques have been working over the winter. I expect and hope that Aprilia won’t just prove a supplier but also an integral part of the team. “I regret not having been able to test over the winter, but it is what it is and we’ll use the first couple of races as a test and make progress as soon as possible.
Category: Motorcycle News
The Australian unveiling of the 2016 MV Agusta Brutale 800 will be held at the first round of this year’s World Superbike Championship. Australia hosts the opening round of the championship at Phillip Island from the 26th – 28th February. The bike will then go on sale in March at a ride-away price of $19,990. The 2016 Brutale 800 was only launched in Spain last week, and is already being praised as a significantly better bike than the previous model. There have been many styling updates done to the bike and although they may seem subtle at first glance, they have managed to turn a good looking bike into an even more stunning one. The Brutale 800 now has a longer wheelbase which gives it more stability over bumps. The steering geometry has also been updated and the whole bike sits 9mm higher to lift the centre of gravity and make it feel lighter in turns. Many of the biggest changes to the 2016 model are to the bike’s engine and electronics. To give the bike better performance the engine now produces 25% more torque than the previous model, and 90% of that torque is generated at 3800 rpm. That has dropped the overall power output from 93kW to 86kW. Given that most bikes don’t spend much of their time in peak power situations, this compromise actually seems like a very smart move because the end result is that the engine feels like it has far more punch. The bike also has newly created ECU software with four available engine mappings – rain, normal, sport and custom. Custom allows the rider to adjust throttle sensitivity, electronic engine braking control, torque control and gives a choice of two rev-limiter settings. Traction control has also been improved and now has the option of eight settings. The Brutale 800 also has a bi-directional quick shifter to allow faster and smoother gear shifts both up and down through the six speed gearbox. Fully adjustable upside-down Marzocchi forks are fitted to the front, and the rear is a fully adjustable Sachs monoshock. Front brakes are dual 320mm discs with four-piston Brembo monobloc calipers, and a 220mm is fitted to the rear. ABS is standard as you would expect. The MV Agusta Brutale 800 has developed into a brilliant package over its 15 year history, and the new model would have to be the best by far.
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Triumph has confirmed a new Tiger Sport 1050 is to make its world debut at the upcoming London Motorcycle Show. The bike will join an already extensive list of new and updated motorcycles to come out of the UK company this year. Whilst official details are still to be released, we do know that the engine has had some upgrades to ensure it meets the upcoming Euro 4 emissions standards. It’s the same engine that is being used in the revised Speed Triple, although it is expected to have been retuned for the Tiger. Triumph has also hinted that the bike will feature a suite of rider-focused technology and enhanced comfort and capability. A new Tiger Sport has been expected since photos of a test bike began to surface last August. The new bike should build on the previous models reputation for great handling, excellent ergonomics and large load-carrying ability. Also being released by Triumph this year is the all-new Street Twin, Thruxton and Thruxton R, the new Bonnevile T120 and T120 Black and Speed Triple S and R models. The London Motorcycle Show runs from the 12th – 14th February, 2016, and we will bring you more details of the new Tiger Sport 1050 as they are released.
Indian manufacturer Royal Enfield has finally unveiled its new Himalayan, an all new lightweight adventure bike. Rumours of the bike have been circulating for some time, and the bike has been spotted undergoing extensive testing in recent months. Official photos and video of the bike were released a couple of weeks ago ahead of the unveiling this week. The design philosophy behind the bike was to keep it light and simple. Company CEO Siddhartha ‘Sid’ Lal has been riding in the Himalayas for over twenty years and said that “large adventure tourers that currently define this category, do not fare well in the Himalayas as they are very heavy, extremely complicated, and not really designed for this environment.” “With its purpose-built ground-up design, the Himalayan is a simple and capable go-anywhere motorcycle that will redefine adventure touring in India.” The Himalayan is powered by a completely new 411cc single cylinder overhead cam engine that is the base for the company’s new long stroke LS 410 engine platform. Power output is a meagre 18kW and torque is quoted as 32Nm. With a kerb weight of 182kg, the Himalayan is not going to be known for it’s outright performance. Royal Enfield claims that modern design and materials in the engine are giving increased efficiency and lowering maintenance, and that the engine can go 10,000 km between oil changes. The 15 litre fuel tank provides a range of approximately 450 km. The frame was designed and built by British company Harris Performance, which was purchased last year and is now wholly owned by Royal Enfield. Luggage mounting points for hard panniers, soft luggage and jerry cans are integral to the motorcycle’s design. The instrument cluster is simple and shows speed, direction, ambient temperature, travel time, service intervals and multiple trip distances. The seat height is 800mm and the seating position is more upright as you would expect on a motorcycle designed for long rides. Royal Enfield says it has been careful to design a bike that will appeal to the enthusiast as well as the regular commuter and that the bike is intended purely for the Indian market – for now! Even though we may not see the Royal Enfield Himalayan in Australia, what is important to us is that this bike probably gives an insight into the company’s future model strategy. We currently have three Royal Enfield model ranges available in Australia – the Continental GT Café Racer, the Bullet 500, and the retro styled Classic models. The Royal Enfield Himalayan will be released for sale to the Indian market in mid March.
Suzuki’s 2016 GSX-R600 is now available in dealerships. The GSX-R600 has a reputation for its impressive performance and handling, both on the track and the road. It earned more track credibility last year by taking both first and second places in the 2015 ASBK Australian Supersport Championship. And it’s also one of the easiest of the 600cc supersports bikes to live with in the real world. For 2016 there’s nothing different in terms of technical specifications, but with the current GSX-R600 it’s really a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. The 2016 GSX-R600 is powered by the same compact 599cc, four cylinder, liquid cooled engine that uses technology developed in MotoGP. The engine generates 93kW and 69Nm. The Suzuki Drive Mode Selector system gives the rider a choice of two selectable engine performance mappings. The two available maps were also developed using racing experience, and switching from one map to the other is instantaneous. A race-proven slipper clutch improves rear tyre grip and stability under hard deceleration by reducing the pressure through the clutch. The engine sits in a compact and lightweight twin-spar aluminum cradle frame. The front suspension uses fully adjustable 41mm Showa Big Piston Forks and the rear shock is a single Showa unit with externally adjustable rebound and compression damping, and adjustable ride height. An electronically controlled steering damper monitors the bike’s speed and adjusts itself for lighter steering at slower speeds, and delivers more damping force at racetrack and highway speeds. There are dual radial-mounted, four-piston Brembo monoblock calipers with 310mm dual floating disc brakes on the front, and a single piston rear brake caliper and 220mm disc on the rear. The obvious differences between the 2016 model and the previous year is the colours. The new model is available in two new colour schemes – Metallic Triton Blue with Red, and Pearl Red with Matte Black. The red belly pan is the definite clue to the 2016 model. The 2016 GSX-R600 is available now for a recommended retail ride away price of $16,490 and is backed by Suzuki’s two-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.