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.
Category: Motorcycle News
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.
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.
For over 10 years BMW Motorrad has been running specific off-road training courses to help GS riders improve their skills. The very popular training courses are being run again during 2016, and details of dates and locations have now been released. This year BMW has also introduced a new ladies only course to the schedule. Whilst the courses are oriented towards BMW GS owners, riders on other brands of adventure motorcycles are welcome to attend course days designated as “all-brand” days. And for those who want to attend but don’t have a bike of their own, GS models are available for rent at selected courses. The two day course takes riders through fundamental off-road riding techniques including the correct body position, throttle and clutch control, and cornering and braking skills on dirt. Instructors also teach participants how to ascend and descend hills safely, and how to deal with riding over and around obstacles, creek crossings and sand. The all new ladies only course has been added to cater for the increasing number of females getting into adventure riding. Special guest assistant coach for the ladies course will be Amy Harburg who recently qualified for the International BMW GS Trophy female team. In addition to the standard Level 1 course BMW recently introduced the Level 2 course for riders looking to continue their off-road riding development. Riders on a Level 2 course will learn more advanced skills and face more challenging destinations, and must have taken part in at least one Level 1 BMW Off-road Training Course before attending. BMW Motorrad Australia General Manager, Andreas Lundgren, says “BMW off-road training is the perfect way to increase your confidence, improve your skill-set and take your adventure riding to the next level”. The cost for a 2 day course is $695 which includes lunch, refreshments and T shirt. Hire bikes are available on some courses for $300. Courses begin in April and are scheduled for Dargle (west of Sydney) and Port Macquarie in NSW, Broadford and Pinnacle Valley in Victoria, Conondale in QLD and Adelaide, SA. Dates have been announced fro the end of June, and July to December courses will be announced soon. Further details are available at www.bmwmotorrad.com.au/OffRoadTraining
The Moto Guzzi V7 II Stornello Limited Edition scrambler will be available in Australia in May, but only 10 of the bikes will be imported. Moto Guzzi revealed the bike at the EICMA show last November, and announced then that only 1,000 would be produced in total. With such a small number coming into the country, Moto Guzzi Australia is recommending that anyone interested in purchasing one of the bikes contact a dealer quickly. The Stornello name has a long history in the Moto Guzzi model range. The original Stornello was created in 1960 as a light and easy to ride entry level motorcycle, and the model stayed in production until 1975. The V7 II Stornello Limited Edition is styled on the 1972 Stornello Scrambler 125. The new bike has the same colour scheme – a white tank with red stripes, red frame and black engine. The engine is a 750cc 90-degree transverse V-twin with a claimed power output of 36kW, and is coupled to a six speed transmission. The kerb weight is a relatively light 186kg. The bike has a two-into-one Arrow exhaust system, aluminium mudguards and satin finished aluminium side number plates. In keeping with its heritage the wheels are polished alloy rims with wire spokes. The seat is long and flat, and there are rubber knee pads, off-road footpegs and fork boots to complete the scrambler look. The V7 II Stornello also comes standard with dual channel ABS and traction control. Each bike will have its production number laser inscribed on to the upper part of the headstock. The Moto Guzzi V7 II Stornello Limited Edition will be priced at $16,500 plus on road costs. The bike offers the personality, class leading safety and quality which are hallmarks of the brand, and Australian stock is expected to sell out quickly.
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