Tuesday, August 31, 2010
By Special Correspondent Akshay Singh Ahlawat
It seems the wait for the entry level sports bike Kawasaki Ninja 250R will soon be over with Bajaj finally announcing its launch in May-June 2009 . Below is the news, which was published earlier in the Economic Times.
PUNE-BASED Bajaj Auto will launch sports bike Ninja 250 from technology partner Kawasaki in the next four to five months, while it gears up to introduce motorcycle, jointly developed with Austrian firm KTM by next year.
“The Kawasaki Ninja 250 will be launched by May or June,” MD Rajiv Bajaj said, while launching the company’s executive segment bike XCD 135 DTSSI, which has been priced at Rs 45,000. He said the Kawasaki Ninja 250 is expected to be priced above Rs 2 lakh.
On the company’s plans to introduce motorcycles from Austrian bike maker KTM, in which BAL has over 25 stake, he said the first of the jointly developed products will be launched by next year. “The bigger bikes from KTM like the Duke and RR will be assembled in our facility.
Their introduction has been delayed a bit. But we have been developing two bikes with engine capacity above 125 cc with KTM. The first of the jointly developed bikes will be launched next year,” Mr Bajaj said.
Bajaj will be importing the Ninja as CKD (completely knocked down) units from Thailand to save on custom duties. The Ninja features a DOHC 249cc parallel twin cylinder engine which is more compact than the previous bike offering good mass centralization and improves the handling.
It now offers good low and mid range torque thanks to dual overhead camshafts. The overall design of the bike is very well balanced and wind tunnel tested and of course the trademark ninja styling carried from its bigger siblings.
The bike has a top whack of 175kmph and 0-100 just under 6 seconds enabling the rider to exploit the powerband and is sure to please enthusiasts who were in dire need of a low cost sports bike.
- Bajaj will then launch bikes from the KTM range – 690 Duke, which may be assembled at Bajaj’s plant at Chakan.
- KTM Duke will be Powered by a high-tech single-cylinder engine
- Versatile, lightweight sportsbike, which might be priced at around Rs 3.5-4.0 lakhs in the Indian market.
- Subsequently, Bajaj may bring in the KTM RC8 -KTM’s top of the line superbike, which would rival the likes of the R1 and Fireblade. The RC8, will be imported into India as a CBU so, will not cost less than Rs 10-12 lakh.
- Bajaj will continue to refine and evolve its Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi.
- Major changes expected on the 220 DTS-Fi are – styling changes, engine tweaks, monoshock rear suspension (similar to the Honda Unicorn), better brakes (Taking some inputs from the TVS Apache), and revamped instrumentation (which is aging).
So, lots of Sports biking action up ahead ! Stay tuned to IAB for then-and-there news and scoops.
Monday, August 30, 2010
I remember lores like this being told more than once in the chopper magazines of yesterdays. Then, one day while checking Kid Duece's Flicker album (linked from Nostalgia on wheels blog), I found this news clipping among the old chopper photos.
Just too far out. Did any of you notice this? The address is the first clue, then check the blacked out name carefully. Richard.... I'll let you figure out the rest.
I like that they also included a description of the vehicle.
The guy just couldn't get a break.
"The death of 13-year-old motorcycle racer Peter Lenz yesterday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway raises the question: How young is too young for kids participating in inherently dangerous motorsports? It is also sure to fuel debate over how motorsports sanctioning groups balance risk and entertainment when putting together programs (like Sunday’s races) that combine amateur and professional events." -- Jonathan Welsh
Saturday, August 28, 2010
"While the antique motorcycle’s thrust pales in comparison to today’s street bikes capable of speeds in excess of 200 mph, Simi Valley resident Paul Watts, the proud owner of an 11F, is hoping the 95-year-old bike is capable of carrying him across the country." -- Angela Randazzo
Read the complete article.
"Even more alarming are reports of the NYPD conducting allegedly unconstitutional motorcycle-only checkpoints, and regularly ticketing riders based upon incorrect interpretation of motor vehicle regulations. One of the most telling cases is that of Karen Perrine, a graphic designer from Staten Island, who was ticketed in October 2005 for riding her motorcycle in the high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lane on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Armed with the knowledge that federal law permits motorcyclists to ride in HOV lanes on federally funded roadways, Perrine decided to fight the ticket in court with the assistance of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA)." -- Honey Berk
Read the complete article to see what's going on across the country.
If you'd like to see your bike as Picture of the Week, submit a picture of you and your bike along with a description of the bike.
Friday, August 27, 2010
I was totally jazzed when he brought it along on our visit to the Wailing Wall.
Stevie is on the left and Pete is on the red bike. It's Pete of Pete's Panhead of Choppers Magazine Feb '69. Stevie made a deal with the devil and the devil cashed in early. Joe and his buddy Nez asked Dave to paint it.
I really dig Dave's work from this period. 1971 was the same year he started doing illustrations for Easyriders.
The painting has endured some stains over the years and Joe hoped it could be cleaned. I told him it was very likely painted with gouache (pronounced "gwash"), and since they are opaque watercolors it would probably bleed if any attempt at cleaning was made. I then added, if it can't be cleaned, it's still a totally cool piece to own.
Later, I suggested he contact Jacquie Mann to find out the media Dave used. He immediately called her and she confirmed it as gouache.
I can't leave things alone, so as an exercise/challenge , I did some Photoshop retouching.
I love night scenes. This is now one of my favorite David Mann pieces.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
'Rolling Concours' events are the best possible concept for a motorcycle show, where your show bike MUST be ridden on their day tour (75 miles or so) to be eligible for a prize...not just onto the podium!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
winning Best in Show at the Legend of the Motorcycle Concours; a small miracle of a machine from the advent of that famous company, Vince brought a few photos along to document who raced the bike (Paul Derkum), and pedalled into chuffing life several times during the day.
8-Valve racers, shortly to exceed 100mph! This little bike simply oozes character.
Wheels Through Time Museum brought this 1929 Harley-Davidson DAR track racer, with four-valve cylinder heads, and four exhaust pipes giving the raciest look of all. It's a '45' (750cc), and extremely rare as most ohv H-D racers were built for Hillclimbs at that time. Clearly meant for flat-out speed , this DAR is really the business. Dale found the intact rolling chassis in the estate/barn of a former Harley dealer, and the proper engine just a few days later. He is convinced the engine is the Actual original from this chassis, as it fits perfectly with all the oil fittings and chassis brackets - and given HD only made a few of ohv racers of this type, he's probably right.
check this '26 Indian ohv road racer, or any road racer from England or Italy from the late 20s), highlights the unique character of US motorcycle racing pre-WW2, when it was all about dirt or board tracks, or hillclimbs, which evolved quirky machines so specialized as to be useless in any other context, and bearing zero technical similarity to the products in the showroom. The American equivalent of a GP racer.
'Big Tank' Crocker to be used as a starting mule, the two machines backed into each other and making an unforgettable racket as the HD came to smoky life. It was quite a scene, worth the price of admission - definitely the most expensive set of starter rollers Ever. (photo courtesy Bob Stokstad)
Studebaker cars. Rogers began with one Sport Scout (1937), had it tuned by Art Hafer, then purchased three more over time to support young racers with a bike and some gas money. He ran his privateer team for five years, then parked the bikes in 1955, where Feece found them in as-last-raced condition decades later. Larry has wisely kept them strictly as found during his tenure, whilst the collecting world catches up to the idea that untouched machines are simply irreplaceable, and our true historical treasures.
Las Vegas MidAmerica auction in 2009, and gives an idea of the fine quality pinstriping emerging in Milwaukee during the 'Teens. A very appealing motorcycle (and having ridden a '15 HD just like this, I can attest they go surprisingly well too, with decent handling).
'Silent Grey Fellow', very quiet indeed with no whining gearbox or thrashing chains, just that big flat leather belt going around with a quiet 'tic' every time the riveted joint goes over the engine pulley. This is another amazingly well preserved motorcycle, the sort of bike which might have been restored 20 years ago, but thankfully wasn't.
Flying Merkel is mostly an original paint machine, although owner Mike Madden admits to 'sprucing-down' the primary chain cover, as the original was missing and a new one fabricated. He didn't try too hard to mimic the original paint, so the replacement is clear but doesn't glare. The Merkel was quite a sophisticated motorcycle, with monoshock rear suspension and an oil-in-frame chassis; features which would be loudly advertised again in the 1980s! The front fork are rigid though...
Board Track racer, which has an impressively applied patina. It took real skill to develop the 6 or 7 layers of paint, varnish, stains, and chips to achieve such visual depth and amber/oily coloration on various new components. Someday, though, when the paintwork has actually oxidized, it may be difficult to tell this machine from an original/unrestored bike, and then the trouble begins.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
I myself joined in and posted the award only because some good blogs were on the list and doing it. That made me think just maybe, the award had the possibility of validity.
I've revised this post and removed the badge since I've now heard some not so great things about the folks giving out these questionable awards.
I really wasn't so naive that I didn't suspect it was likely just a way for them to get a link. after all, every week I probably receive 1 or 2 emails that are basically trying to do the same thing.