KTM Unveils Their 2017 Range of Enduro Machines

Another 12 months, another round of off-road motorcycle upgrades. Despite only being five months into 2016, KTM is kicking things of first with their range of enduro machines. It’s a big range of updates too with KTM claiming a massive 90 per cent of the 2017 range’s components being brand new. Notable weight reductions of up to five kilograms have been realized throughout the model range, with improved mass centralization resulting in increased performance and better handling.

For MY2017 the line-up has been changed to include the 125 XC-W and 150 XC-W (replacing the 125 and 200 EXC), which are specifically designed for closed course racing, as well as the more traditional, fully homologated powerhouses with the 250 EXC and 300 EXC in the 2-stroke range. In the 4-stroke range KTM continues with its completely updated versions of the 250 EXC-F, 350 EXC-F models, as well as modifying the name of the higher capacity models to fall in line with the typical 4-stroke name to 450 EXC-F and 500 EXC-F.

Not only does each machine receive a new chassis with new suspension including the WP XPlor 48 upside-down split fork by WP, the R&D team in Mattighofen, Austria combined with its network of test riders, factory racing teams and input from KTM North America R&D, has worked tirelessly to deliver new engines at the same time with improved performance, reduced weight and a more compact size to assist with better machine handling.

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With refinements from the frame and bodywork, down to the smaller details in the dashboard of these READY TO RACE machines, KTM has utilized the latest technology to consider every improvement possible for the amateur rider right up-to the professional world championship racer.

Following a tried and tested tradition, the specially finished SIX DAYS models stand side by side with the legendary, new generation EXC bikes. Available as 2- and 4-stroke bikes and equipped with several performance-enhancing and useful technical parts, the new “Six Days Spain” bikes, designed with sophisticated special graphics, top the latest KTM EXC model range.

Joachim Sauer (KTM Offroad Product Manager): “As the saying goes, after the race is before the race. According to our understanding in state-of-the-art development, the brand new line-up of our offroad competition Enduros are proof of KTM`s ongoing commitment to our core discipline. We believe this Endurosportmotorcycle range will push the excitement and satisfaction of any rider to a new level.”

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Indian Unveils ‘The Redeemer’ a Custom Chieftain Dark Horse

Just a 48 hours after announcing the release of the their new Chieftain Dark Horse, Indian Motorcycles has today unveiled a custom build of their new machine called ‘The Redeemer’. It has been developed by Hollister Powersports in California and is designed to show off the customisability of the new bike – something the bean counters at cruiser manufacturers love.

“When I saw the bike, I knew right away that it had a ton of potential to customize,” says Rey Sotelo, General Manager of Hollister Powersports. “We were inspired by the history of Hollister and how this great American town is coming back from an unfair bad reputation. We stayed with the matte black theme and used as many Authentic Indian Motorcycle accessories as we could because we wanted the weekend mechanic to be able to recreate something as badass as our custom. Radical customs certainly draw the eye – but we wanted to keep the bike rideable every day.”

“We wanted to put a 21-inch wheel on it so we chose an option from RC Components,” Sotelo continued. “We liked the aluminum accents on RC’s Raider Eclipse wheel, and knew it would tie in with the paint job and the brushed finish on the motor.”

Hollister trimmed the stock fender to reveal more of the custom wheel and lighten the overall look of the bike. The fender skirts were cut back and the caliper covers were removed, dramatically changing the front profile of the motorcycle. The fairing is stock, but painted with speed scallops that tie in with the front fender, tank, side panels and saddlebags. The scallops are painted on the rear fender as well, so even if the saddlebags are pulled off the speed scallops theme still plays throughout the bike.

“We installed the 14-inch accessory Indian Motorcycle Ape-Hangers, but painted them matte black,” Sotelo says. “The kit includes a longer clutch cable, and the brake cable and wiring are long enough so no modifications are needed, which makes it really easy for the weekend mechanic to install.”

The engine jugs remain as they did when they left the factory, but Hollister put a little matte paint on the otherwise gloss side covers and added highlighting to the ‘Indian’ script on the air-cleaner in matte silver to stand out.

Out back, a pair of turn signals were incorporated into the saddlebags to further visually lighten the bike. “We played with different lights, but we just really liked the look of these,” Sotelo says, “so we frenched them into the bags and matted the taillight out.” The saddlebags also received 100-watt Authentic Indian Motorcycle speakers to boost output of the already powerful audio system.

Finally, sticking out from beneath the saddlebags, a blacked out Indian Motorcycle Stage 1 slip-on exhaust with brushed billet tips was installed to offer a snappier throttle response and more bark to the already potent Thunder Stroke 111 engine.

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Build Your Own Motorcycle With a Kit from Moto8ight

It’s probably the logical next step given how popular custom bikes have become and that is to build a motorcycle of your own entirely from scratch. We have kit homes and kit cars, now new startup Moto8ight is offering people that are handy with tools the opportunity to build their own motorcycle – and specifically one based on the Suzuki GSX series.

Jack Chin is the founder of Moto8ight and wanted to start the project so that people who just weren’t confident enough to build their own bike without at least some guidance could do so. Once for sale, the kit will provide a frame, fuel tank, rear sub-frame, seat, engine mounts and other bits and pieces of hardware. That means you’ll still have to provide your own engine, brakes, wheels and suspension.

Engines that the frame will support out without modification will be the 988-1992 GSX-R 750cc/1100cc, 1995-2004 Bandit GSF 600cc/1200cc and1988-2004 Katana GSX 600cc/750cc – all oil-cooled motors.

That will still leave a lot of room for customising the bike – and still a very steep learning curve for someone that has never pulled apart a bike – let alone put one back together. But’s a start, and the ability to buy a brand new frame that doesn’t feature and cracks or bends that are sometimes difficult to spot is a big plus. The company intends to provide a vast array of video and written tutorials to help anyone with the build and Chin believes a fairly competent person could finish their build in the space of a few weekends.

For the US market the frames will have VINs so they can be road registered – it will be interesting to see what options might become available for international buyers. No wording on a final price or release just yet, but expect everything to be finalised by the end of the year.

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BMW Offers “Intelligent Emergency Call” in Motorcycles for First Time

BMW has always been at the forefront of safety, both on four wheels and two and now for the first time from any manufacturer, the German manufacturer is offering integrated emergency response systems into a bike. The system has proved so beneficial in its use in Europe since 1999 that it will be mandatory in all new cars from 2018. The system has been modified slightly to better recognize critical incidents for motorcycle riders so that the system isn’t activated should you drop your bike embarrassingly while parking in front of school children.

In the case of an accident, a vehicle-integrated eCall system can make the difference between life and death. As already shown in 2011 as part of a pan-European eCall trial involving BMW vehicles, emergency services were able to respond more quickly and get to the scene of the accident 40 to 50 percent faster. The European Commission in charge of the trial at the time, estimated that using an eCall system would save up to 2,500 lives every year also saving € 26 billion in the process.

eCall was used for the first time in BMW automobiles in 1999 in Europe. In 2007, the BMW Group extended this safety system by establishing an intelligent and cross-border call center infrastructure. From 2018, eCall will become mandatory for all new cars. Thanks to the synergy effects with BMW Automobiles the system is expected to be available for the first time in a BMW motorcycle ex works as an option from beginning of 2017.

In the case of an emergency or an accident, the intelligent eCall system, which is either automatically or manually triggered, sends out the position data, i.e. the coordinates of the motorcycle accident site, to the qualified BMW Call Center to initiate the rescue chain. The current position as well as information for determining the direction of travel are transmitted to simplify locating the motorcyclist in hard-to-find locations such as motorway junctions.

eCall requires a connection to the mobile phone network in order to trigger the rescue chain. In the “intelligent emergency call” option, the connection is established via the permanently installed mobile communication unit. For the connection no specific mobile operator is required. All that is necessary is at least one operational mobile provider. The service will be made available in all European countries.

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Build Your Own Exhaust With Two Brothers Racing

You may have noticed there’s a lot of new motorcycles coming out lately (half of which seem to be from Yamaha). That means if you’re a person who likes to get an aftermarket exhaust bolted on straight away, you might need to wait a while until one is designed by the big brands – or perhaps they won’t bother at all if your bike is regarded as ‘niche’. Two Brothers Racing has come to the market with a new solution – design your own aftermarket exhaust.

“There is just plain and simply not enough time in the day to keep up with all of the bikes coming out” says Joel Albrecht Two Bros R&D supervisor. Joel worked countless hours with Two Bros engineers to develop all the right pieces for the job. “We wanted to find a way for people to buy each tube they need to make quality headers themselves” adds Joel never a man of too many words.

Each piece has been designed around common sizes and bends so that customers can pick the right fit for them to build whatever they can imagine. Using only high quality steel mandrel bent to precise tolerances the “Build-Your-Own” product line will work on everything from budget builds to over the top customs. The Two Brothers website www.twobros.com has also been updated to have images and detailed measurements of the available options.

“Build-Your-Own is perfect for someone looking to build headers without spending thousands on tools first” concludes Joel. Weather you build custom bikes for a living or you are just the do it yourself type Two Brothers Racing has you covered. Be sure to check out “Build-Your-Own” before your next build.

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HJC and Marvel Comics Unite for Officially Licensed Graphic Helmets

Squids are going to love this – and it may even persuade some non-helmet wearing folk out there to don a lid. Marvel Comics, creators of art house films such as The Avengers, Iron Man and Captain America have announced the first or three officially licensed graphic helmets which will be available next month.

The press release is extremely light on detail, save for the fact that there will be an Iron Man, Punisher and Captain America helmet ranging in price from $175 up to $255 and sizing from XS up to 5XL (that’s a big head). Pictures of them are below:

 

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The Honda Navi is a $650 Grom’esque Bike for India

The little Honda Grom has earned somewhat of a cult following not only because it’s so small and nimble but also because of how cheap it is. But you can always go cheaper and Honda has just released a new bike for the Indian market and for a price equivalent to US $650.

The Honda Navi as it is known definitely bears more than a passing resemblance to the Honda Grom. This is no doubt on purpose as the Navi is actually a scooter – albeit it styled to look like a motorcycle and in fact, Honda has marketed it as an ‘automatic motorcycle’. The Navi uses a 110cc engine, has 12 inch scooter tires on the front and 10 inch ones on the back.

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According to Honda of India, the Navi is their first bike completely researched and developed in the country and has been specifically designed to attract younger riders who aspire to a motorcycle but cannot afford one. As is all the rage at the moment, there will be a large amount of customisable options for sale, including colours, storage and various bits of bling.

We certainly don’t expect the Navi to make its way to western markets any time soon, but once again it’s good to see that manufacturers are realising that bigger isn’t always better.

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BMW to Release a Mini GS Based on Their Upcoming G310R Learner Bike

BMW’s first real foray into the learner bike market hasn’t even hit showrooms yet, but already there’s a confirmation of sorts that the German manufacturers’ tie up with Indian firm TVS will see a GS adventure bike using the same engine and platform as soon as next year. This is great news as it’s been a category of bike sorely lacking in the market. Sure, a dualsport is probably a better option for a small capacity adventure bike, but the more choice the better.

The news comes courtesy of BMW Motorrad UK’s director, Phil Horton who in an interview with magazine Motorcycle Sport & Leisure stated that an expanded range of bikes based on the upcoming GS310R was on the way:

New models aside, the line-up isn’t as comprehensive as it needs to be. But there are plenty more bikes to come, including, hopefully in 2017, a G310R GS-style derivative. That’s quite an interesting proposition in itself.

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The GS brand of adventure bikes are hugely popular and the range topping 1200 series remains BMW’s best selling model year after year. Given how popular adventure bikes now are, it seems a no brainer that an entry level one be made. We’ve continually heard rumours that KTM would release an adventure model based on the RC390/Duke 390 but that still hasn’t surfaced. If BMW beats KTM and the rest of the industry to the punch, they’ll probably end up kicking themselves.

Like how Kawasaki’s little Ninja 250 (and subsequent 300) dominated the market for so long, if BMW develops and sells a small capacity adventure bike it’s bound to be a huge success.  Phil Horton stated that the bike would be ready as next year although given the time frame it has taken for the G310R to come to market, that might be ambitious. Fingers crossed, though.

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