Not since the ‘50s, when Moto Guzzi’s booming V-twins dominated the 250 and 350cc Grand Prix world championships, have the people of Mandello del Lario, home of Moto Guzzi motorcycles for the last 92 years, had so much to celebrate. The marque’s recent successes haven’t been achieved on the racetrack, though, but where it really counts – in the marketplace. What really got the Italian villagers throwing their hats in the air was that the most significant victories have been scored by their Moto Guzzi California 1400 in the USA, long-established domain of the large twin-cylinder cruiser that dominates production in that country.
The world’s most respected financial publication, the Wall Street Journal, kicked off the transatlantic wave of approval by running a very favourable report on the California Custom in April this year. Writer Dan Neil concluded by saying “If Moto Guzzi were ever a victim of its own charisma, the California goes a long way to fixing that. This is a thoroughly modern, effortless-to-ride big cruiser that still manages to retain Guzzi's idiosyncrasy, its Latin stubbornness. And it's beautiful. Did I mention that?”
The prestigious luxury-lifestyle magazine, The Robb Report, followed up in June by awarding the Moto Guzzi California 1400 the accolade of Motorcycle Cruiser of the Year in its 27th Best of the Best - Luxury Portfolio Awards that focused the publication’s spotlight on the finest yachts, private jets, cars, holiday homes, watches, jewelry, and all the other trappings of wealth enjoyed by the rich and famous. There the surprisingly affordable Guzzi joined other category winners on their wall of fame that’s filled mainly with names like Aston Martin, Ferrari, Louis Vuitton, Patek Philippe, and Chanel.
While fans of America’s much-loved V-twin motorcycles could question the credentials of those who wrote for these trendy publications, they found their case considerably weakened when the world’s biggest motorcycle publication, Cycle World, announced early in August that its team of highly professional testers had, after rigorous back-to-back testing of the finalists, placed the Moto Guzzi California 1400 Custom at the pinnacle of cruiser motorcycles in its 2013 Bike of the Year competition. In announcing the award, the editor pronounced thus: “This Italian gets under your skin in a good way, its air-cooled 1380cc V-Twin winning us over with torque and the starring role it plays in the Art Deco looks of the bike. Though classically styled, the California is modern, with three levels of power delivery and traction control, plus ABS and cruise control - none of which detracts from the bike’s mechanically satisfying nature.”
Just weeks after Cycle World announced its findings, the testers at the very influential Motorcycle.Com website involved themselves by also putting their hands up for the Moto Guzzi California as their choice for Best Cruiser of 2013. “"The California stands out as something truly special,” said the statement announcing their choice. “It retains Guzzi’s traditional charm but is enhanced by a vastly superior powerplant, useful (and class-leading) electronics, and a visual presence that looks outstanding riding down the boulevard. For bringing a different kind of cool to the staid cruiser category, the Moto Guzzi California is our 2013 Cruiser of the Year".
Finally, in the recent inaugural 2013 Pirelli South African Bike of the Year competition that selected but one outright winner, the big Guzzi, pitted against the very best sports, nakeds, cruisers and dual-purpose machinery from across the spectrum, finished high up in the scoring with a top-six position after a very close-fought battle.
Moto Guzzi is an elite brand that comes nowhere near the mainstream manufacturers in terms of volume, but sales worldwide are climbing steadily. In 2012 Guzzi bucked the trend and sales improved by 15,3%, with the first six months of 2013 following suit. The motorcycles are sought after by purists who want a lusty V-twin engine with lots of soul, as well as thoroughly modern technology and superior build-quality.
New two-stroke FREERIDE 250 R model joins updated 350.
- Two-stroke world premiere: KTM launches all-new FREERIDE 250 R in Italy
- Successful FREERIDE 350 gets crucial updates
- Now KTM offers a real range of fun - relax - sport - leisure - exercise and smile bikes
- Still to come: the FREERIDE E will complete the program for Freeride enthusiasts
ENJOYMENT & SPORT
With the introduction of the all-new 250cc two-stroke FREERIDE 250 R, launched to world´s media in Il Ciocco/ Italy, KTM is giving even more choice to riders looking to explore or return to off-road riding, grow their skills or simply have a fun bike.
The reason to expand the FREERIDE range by a super agile two-stroke model is obvious: the all-new developed 250 R model bridges the gap between the racing-oriented EXC models and the non-competitive four-stroke FREERIDE 350. The combination of championship-tested Enduro know-how and the ultralight FREERIDE chassis consistently carries the FREERIDE concept that for the first time was presented two years ago, to the extremes.
FREERIDE 250 R
For those not wanting the focus of a competition-based Enduro machine (EXC), ‘Maximum off-road pleasure’ is the mission statement for the FREERIDE program and KTM technicians have taken the original and successful concept – launched in 2012 with the 350 and then followed by the electric ‘E’ – to the next level with this new machine.
KTM know that many riders still enjoy the noise, smell and feel of a two-stroke and the already super-light FREERIDE chassis can be exploited easier and to greater extent with a lighter design of engine fitted, further ground clearance and more agility.
The engine of the FREERIDE 250 R began from the competition-based 250 EXC, but KTM engineers altered it not for outright power, but a pleasant torque response to make it easier to ride.
A new cylinder with ports and timings adjusted to the intended torque response is matched to a new piston and cylinder head. The engine is capable of 25hp in unrestricted off-road mode and can run with a fuel/oil mixture as low as 1:80; almost completely eliminating two-stroke smoke.
An amazing 2kg has been ‘lost’ over its EXC power plant cousin, thanks to removing the power valve and kick start and featuring an intermediate clutch cover with a new water pump shaft with a lightweight polymer sprocket. By not using the EXC’s complex exhaust control valve, the benefits help to achieve the engine’s required character and increase piston durability – essential for those not looking at competition use.
The bike is also fitted with a brand new, low noise exhaust system. Routed to the side of the bike but integrated perfectly into the vehicle, the design of the resonance chamber also contributes to the great torque character.
The two-stroke FREERIDE, like the EXC models, is homologated for public road use with a special power restriction kit. So either from the back of a van, off the back of a motorhome or however the journey starts, the FREERIDE 250 R is ready to take you to places that only the freedom of motorcycle can offer.
After two years in production, the four-stroke FREERIDE 350 also receives some updates. The main difference is the change of gearbox; creating shorter ratios in the first five gears but with a much taller sixth gear to create an overdrive, lowering revs on long back roads to help reduce fuel consumption.
Technical changes inside the four-stroke 350 engine are all based on the theme of a pleasant torque response, but increasing efficiency and reliability. A new crank shaft drives a geared intermediate shaft mounted on the side, which in turn drives both the camshafts and the coolant pump while doubling as a balancer shaft. A plain bearing replaces the big-end roller bearings, which has already proven its quality in the 2013 motocross SX-F engines. This innovative solution guarantees better reliability and allows extended maintenance intervals.
Both machines have a wide variety of official KTM PowerParts available, allowing riders to individually tune the machines in terms of appearance, chassis and performance. These parts extend as far as an automatic clutch and left hand brake kit.
From the double-barreled stare of its twin headlamps to the knobby tread of its burly tires, the Harley-Davidson® Fat Bob® delivers a simple message: Move over. You don’t need to be lean when you’ve got this much mean, and for 2014 the Fat Bob appears more assertive than ever thanks to a Dark Custom make-over from Harley Styling that turns this bike into a back-alley bully.
“We wanted to take the Fat Bob further into the Dark Custom realm” says Harley-Davidson Styling Manager Tony Pink. “The compact, chopped lines of the new rear fender, the angle of the shocks, and the slanting tank graphics all line up to create an aggressive new stance that’s reinforced by the new blunt-cut mufflers. The high-contrast details on the black wheels relate nicely to the tank graphic. The seat was given a new form and cover that’s more sporty and more comfortable. Bring it all together and the Fat Bob is ready to reassert its presence on the street.”
Black replaces chrome all over the Fat Bob, including the powertrain and air cleaner cover, rear shock covers, triple clamps, headlight trim rings, console and battery box cover. The Aluminium Slotted Disc wheels are powder coated black and finished with a laser-engraved Harley-Davidson logo and rim stripe.
Rolling in on a Fat Bob makes a statement that is not subtle. But this motorcycle offers more than attitude. The rigid steel backbone of its Dyna frame, a pair of thick 49mm fork legs and chassis geometry that’s tuned to turn make the Fat Bob a cruiser willing to hunt for corners and a blast to ride. Dual front disc brakes and an Anti-lock Braking System haul the Fat Bob down in a hurry. Twist the grip, dump the clutch and feel the significant kick of a Twin Cam 103™ V-Twin launch Fat Bob off the line with authority.
Key Fat Bob Features
- Rubber-mounted Twin Cam 103™ engine rated at 97.4 ft. lbs. of torque at 3500 rpm. The engine is equipped with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) and Automatic Compression Release (ACR), and is mated to a 6-speed Cruise Drive transmission. The powertrain is finished in Black powdercoat with black covers.
- NEW Blunt-cut staggered-dual mufflers are mated to the signature “Tommy Gun” 2-1-2 collector exhaust with slotted chrome shields.
- NEW Slash-cut rear fender
- NEW Recessed twin-ring LED tail lamp complements the dual headlamps.
- NEW Slim and sporty ergonomic seat and has a new cover and silver contrast stitching.
- NEW Console with an integral ignition switch and a five-inch electronic speedometer with multi-function LCD display and LED indicator lights.
- NEW Black machined, Aluminium Slotted Disc wheels with laser-engraved graphics; 16-inch front and rear.
- NEW Blacked-out aluminium triple clamps, headlight trim ring, rear shock covers, and battery box cover.
- NEW Diagonal-stripe fuel tank graphics.
- Dual front disc brakes
- Chrome 1.25-inch diameter drag-style handlebar is internally-wired and mounted on black risers.
- High-performance coil-over rear shocks with gloss black covers.
- Forward-mounted rider footpegs and controls.
- 180mm-16 rear / 130mm-16 front tires.
- Smart Security System with proximity-based, hands free security fob
- Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
- NEW Amber Whiskey
- NEW Sand Cammo Denim
- Black Denim
- Vivid Black
Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel, and general merchandise. For more information, visit Harley-Davidson's website at www.harley-davidson.com.
MOTUL, worldwide experts in the field of high-tech lubricants for use on-road, off-road and in race full competition, announce the launch of its new range of motorcycle lubricants. The latest evolution to be produced and marketed by the French company reflects the company’s constant search for the latest technologies and its empathy with its core markets.
Known and respected as a benchmark in the industry for its high-tech products, MOTUL’s latest motorcycle range includes lubricants for 4-Stroke and 2-Stroke engines formulated to meet worldwide recognised industry standards: API¹, JASO², and the latest manufacturers’ recommendations.
Over several decades, MOTUL has consistently improved the performance of its motorcycle lubricants through development of its own unique type of ESTER, with the latest result being the introduction of ESTERCore® technology. This technology combines carefully chosen esters with an optimal selection of top quality synthetic base oils coupled with an innovative additives package.
Involved in the highest levels of motorsport, Motul has developed specific motorcycle lubricants for racing under the brand Factory Line to deliver extra power and higher torque. Specifically, the new 300V Factory Line Road Racing gives a power increase of 1.30% while the Off Road version offers a torque increase of 2.5% compared to previous versions. On top of this, MOTUL has targeted in its development improvements in two other critical areas; the gearbox and the wet clutch. The new 300V provides outstanding extreme pressure properties to protect highly loaded gearboxes while the clutch friction indexes have been optimized to improve life time and response of clutch discs in Road Racing and Off Road.
The general 4-stroke range also benefits from the latest motorsport-developed technologies, meeting JASO MA2 specification which is the most efficient friction level. The new 7100 100% synthetic 4-Stroke line is increased to seven different products with the inclusion of three new viscosities (5W40, 10W50, 10W60 and 15W50) in response to the latest manufacturers’ recommendations from BMW, KTM, APRILIA, and MV AGUSTA. The 5100 Technosynthese® 4-Stroke lubricants formulation has also been improved and the number of viscosities remains the same with four different viscosity grades (10W30, 10W40, 10W50 and 15W50).
In addition to technological advances, Motul has revised its label design to reinforce its position as a specialist in the motorcycle markets. Priorities were given to the MOTUL brand, to key product information on the front label such as quality, product name, MA2, and the application visualized through an image of a motorcycle specific to each product. The 300V Factory Line has not been left behind and adopted a new design in red and black to emphasize its Racing value.
KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R Prototype makes its mark at Goodwood last weekend.
KTM took its 1290 SUPER DUKE R prototype to the Goodwood Festival of Speed this past weekend and certainly made an impression on the Hill Climb course of this British event.
Making its first ever moving public appearance, former MotoGP pilot and current KTM development rider Jeremy McWilliams had to use his years of racing experience to keep “The Beast” under control around the narrow and hazardous 1.16 mile Hill Climb course.
Boasting “a lot more torque” than the 1190 RC8 R its engine originated from, the prototype has many similarities between itself and the new 1290 SUPER DUKE R production model which is due later this year.
For petrolheads, there aren’t many events that can rival the Festival of Speed, as it brings together exotic and historic two and four-wheeled machines from the past, present and, in this case, future. With its almost open-piped Akrapovic system emitting a raucous 125db, fans around the straw bale-lined circuit couldn’t miss the sight and sound of “The Beast” in action. Complete with Dunlop slick tyres, McWilliams built up pace and confidence and was able to clock an impress (and unofficial) 54 second lap time, hitting speeds of 135 mph – sometimes on one wheel.
Five runs were completed over the three-day event and thus there was plenty of time for McWilliams and the KTM staff to talk to the people attending the Goodwood Festival of Speed. More than 130.000 people attended the magnificent event.
Jeremy McWilliams said: “I’ve ridden some magnificent machines at Goodwood, but nothing as lairy as “The Beast”. It definitely suits the name. As soon as I tested this bike the evening before the event I knew I wanted to try and set a fast lap on it. I think we put on a good show as the response to the bike has been incredible and not just from the public! Kevin Schwantz told me it was his favourite bike at the event and he really wanted to ride it! I can’t really say a lot about the upcoming production bike only that people won’t be disappointed – the engine even has more grunt than that of ‘The Beast’.”
KTM and ADAC presented the KTM RC 390 Cup machine for the new “ADAC JUNIOR CUP POWERED BY KTM”, being introduced at the 2013 MotoGP of Germany at the Sachsenring. For the coming year, the RC 390 is to be the new machinery for the Brand Cup for up-and-coming young racers.
By introducing the motorcycle that will be used for the 2014 “ADAC Junior Cup powered by KTM”, KTM takes another important step in extending its activities on asphalt. Following the successful entry into the Moto3 World Championship – KTM brought the World Championship title to Austria in the premiere year – and the completion of the Duke range of naked bikes with the 125, 200 and 390 displacement models, there will now also be a fully faired sports bike available for sale. In typical fashion, there is a direct connection to motorsports. The “ADAC Junior Cup powered by KTM” will see the RC 390 in action for the first time worldwide as the exclusive motorcycle used in this Brand Cup competition.
Naturally it is not difficult for the sports motorcycle manufacturer from Mattighofen, Austria, to make the connection between racing and series production. In short: as always, KTM once again underlines that it is always “Ready to Race” in every aspect by presenting the RC 390 Cup at the eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland.
KTM CEO Stefan Pierer: ”We developed a pure GP racing machine for the Moto3 World Championship. In contrast, the RC 390 Cup is based on a series model project. Both of these two projects were given the highest priority because the development of lower displacement, high quality street bikes are among our core activities. The new KTM RC 390, which will be available for sale in 2014 will meet a big demand for affordable, quality sport bikes for the lower displacement class.”
The KTM CEO adds: “Since 1993, ADAC has achieved a great deal with excellent work with up-and-coming riders in the Junior Cup. The promotion and support of young talent is also a very important aspect for KTM. We are happy to put a lot of energy into this because we actively engage in the promotion of young riders both in offroad sports and on asphalt. We are honestly thrilled that we will be able to support the ADAC Junior Cup as the KTM 390 Cup with all KTM bikes. Also because with ADAC we have a committed, reliable and strong partner in which everyone involved is a professional.”
Metzeler ‘real road racing’ campaign continues at Isle of Man mass start races.
Castletown, Isle of Man, 11 July 2013 – Metzeler racer Guy Martin saved the best to last at the Southern 100 races today as he won a hard fought battle with Michael Dunlop to take the feature ‘Solo Championship’ and log a new outright lap in the process.
Impressive young road racer Dean Harrison was also in fantastic form as he won the Supersport race and ‘Lightweight’ event- as fellow Metzeler rider James Hillier did on his ER6 machine at last month’s TT event.
Guy’s victory cheered his legions of fans at the event and listening online in a race which the Lincolnshireman professes to ‘loving’. In the ‘main event’ he took his Tyco Suzuki GSXR1000 to a new absolute lap record of 114.245mph in the fifth of eight laps to beat the current road racing man in form, Michael Dunlop.
The historic 4.25 mile Billown circuit again attracted good crowds who enjoyed fantastic racing and magnificent weather over the four day event. With a grassy paddock, mass starts and a traditional atmosphere to proceedings, the ‘Southern’ offers a unique charm for both racers and visitors alike. Tragically local racers Mark Madsen-Mygdal and David Jukes lost their lives at the event this year.
The races also marks another major road racing success for the Metzeler development team after victories in the North West 200, Isle of Man TT with the high speed Metzeler Ulster GP in August.
To see the top Metzeler riders behind the scenes and in preparation for the Ulster GP please visit: www.metzeler.com/roadracing and on Twitter follow #roadtolegend
Videos are also available on You Tube channel: www.youtube.com/metzelermoto.
by Ian Groat
With more visitors than ever before to the iconic worlds best motorcycle road racing festival, the trump card of near perfect weather was played out in early June with throngs of international bikers and the races were broadcast to some 30 million global tv enthusiasts worldwide which adds up to all the makings of a happening for one and all.
With only two of the six sessions of evening practise being any good, riders in the senior class were left perplexed as to just how their machines were set up so the only XXXXX came from the clerk of the course who made a programme change to run the Superbike TT on a schedule of XXXX Sunday’s rest day after rain stopped play. But in the practice week already the pace of Michael Dunlop and his brother William showed that between many of the TT aces like Cameron Donald, Gary Johnson and the maestro John McGuinness their plus 130 miles per hour laps showed that the weeks TT races in prospect showed a brilliant pace was on the cards.
Seventeen-year-old South African Wade Young has kept himself busy since this year’s ErzbergRodeo. Opting to stay in Europe, the Husaberg rider contested two rounds of the Enduro World Championship in Romania and Greece before turning his attention towards the upcoming Red Bull Romaniacs.
Delivering some promising results on his EWC debut, Young is a rider very much on top form. Hoping to translate that pace across to the Hard Enduro scene, he feels fit and ready for his debut ride at the longest and toughest race on the Hard Enduro calendar…
Wade, how have you enjoyed these past two weeks racing in the Enduro World Championship?
“Honestly, it’s been great. Racing in the EWC is something that I’ve been building towards for quite some time. It was my first time racing with these guys and it’s given me a realistic understanding of where I’m at.”
The international Goodwood Revival to be held in September in the UK, have extended an invitation to South Africa to race the high profile Barry Sheene Memorial Race. This race will be held on both the Saturday and Sunday race schedules.
The organisers allow only motor cycles made up to 1961 to participate with a 500cc limit on capacity. “Team Incomplete”, which is run by Ian Groat, the Publisher of Automotive Refinisher magazine, has a stable of Grand Prix racing machinery. The Manx Grand Prix winner Jimmie Guthrie, along with Springbok rider Peter Labuschagne, will ride a special Manx Norton in the 25-minute leg on each day at Goodwood.
The colonial flyers will be in star-studded company with the likes of Troy Corser, Jamie Whitham, Wayne Gardener, Freddie Spencer and Mick Grant, who will head up only 30 teams for the race. Lord Charles March, the patron of the event, which features aero displays and car races for the retro historic competition, says the unique atmosphere and intense competition of the Barry Sheene Memorial Race is a major drawcard for the weekend’s festival.
On the agenda for Jimmie Guthrie will be to appear in the Isle of Man section for this year’s Classic TT Race where they are celebrating 90 years of the running of the Manx Grand Prix races. All previous race winners are to be honoured.
JIMMIE GUTHRIE: Jimmie Guthrie won the Manx Grand Prix in 1967 and will ride a bike like this 1961 Manx Norton at Goodwood in the Barry Sheene Memorial race.
PETER LABUSCHAGNE: has been extremely successful on the “Team Incomplete” Wagon Wheels racer from the 60’s. Springbok motocycle champion and regular local TT racer, will represent South Africa at the Barry Sheene Memorial for “Team Incomplete”.