Magpul Arms the 1125R?

Magpul Buell 1125R Ronin
Magpul Buell 1125R Ronin

Magpul Industries is best known for firearms like the Magpul Masada ACR, an infantry battle rifle–which is also becoming available in a civilian semi-auto version–firearms accessories, and the like.  But apparently, their design team has other interests as well.

At the SHOT Show, in Las vegas today,  Magpul unveiled the “Ronin”,  their aftermarket treatment of the Buell 1125R.  Apparently, Magpul is looking to producing a Ronin kit to convert the plain, vanilla, street version of the 1125R into a Ronin model.  So, if you have an 1125R, in the very near future, it looks like you might just be able to turn it into one of these, if the mood strikes you.

By the way, those two gun-barrel looking things poking out front are not integrated Magpul-desgigned submachine guns.  They’re just the high-intensity halogen headlights.

Yeah, I know.  I was disappointed, too.

First Ride: 2010 MV Agusta F4

2010 MV Agusta F4
2010 MV Agusta F4

MCN’s Michael Neeves has gotten his hands on the all-new MV AGusta F4, and his ride impressions are posted at Motorcycle USA.  He really likes it.  Really.

F4s were always lightning-fast, but never that friendly to actually ride and live with, but the new F4 is different – it’s the best superbike MV has ever made.

Taking the F4 for a spin on the heavenly roads surrounding Almeria race circuit in southern Spain to start our test day, it’s a pleasant surprise to feel how easy it is to get on with. Gone is the harsh throttle, rough ride and a seat that trapped you resolutely between the tank and tail unit of the old bike. In its place is a seat you can move around in, spaciously-set clip-ons, a flawless throttle response, smooth gearbox, light controls and tactile brakes…

The Italian firm has smoothed out all the old F4’s rough edges and created a thoroughly usable superbike for the road. Relatively, it’s still not as soft or cuddly as a Japanese 1000 and probably not as easy to get on and ride, but it has considerably sharper teeth and is a thousand times more exclusive and handsome.

The F4 was always wicked fast, but it was a difficult beast in just about every other area.  But, now, it looks like MV Agusta may have finally found the F4’s stride.

Buell 1190RR Breaks Cover

Erik Buell Racing has a facebook page with pics of the the new 1190RR being prepped for shipment to a racer in Germany.  It’s a nice looking bike.

Buell Racing 1190RR Buell Racing 1190RR Buell Racing 1190RR Buell Racing 1190RR

Erik Buell can’t build streetbikes until February 2011, according to his non-compete clause with Harley-Davidson, so you won’t see one of these screaming up the street any time soon.  But, clearly, there are things going on at EBR that might betoken some future streetbike model.  And I’m sure that there are a number of people who’d like to speak to Eric Buell about opportunities as soon as they are legally able.

What I find really interesting here is that motorcycle didn’t just materialize out of whole cloth.  I mean, all du respect to Eric Buell as a motorcycling genius or whatever, but I find it hard to believe that the 1190RR’s motor just materialized out of thin air between the time Harley dumped Buell and now.  It hasn’t even been a year yet. So, it seems to me that this was a concept that had to have been on the drawing board prior to the Buell shutdown.

Harley Marketing to the Perv Community.
Harley Marketing to the Perv Community.

Jebus Cripes, that decision still doesn’t make much sense to me.  Imagine what the response would have been to an American sportbike in the same performance class as a Ducati 1198 or Aprilia RSV4.  For a company that became a textbook business school marketing case study for the way they sold the Harley “lifestyle” to the baby boomers, they are slack-jawed morons when it comes to marketing to the younger biking community. I mean, just look at this Harley ad.

That’s your baby-boomer wet-dream right there.  Old men getting married to under-18 girls.  Great image to put in your advertising, MoCo.  Classy.

Not that anybody believes a 17 year-old girl would f*ck that hairy pervert.

But, that’s Harley-Davidson for you.  They are so focused in on the baby-boomers that they just don’t seem to have a clue about how to reach out to anyone younger.  They can build all then trikes they want, to keep their geriatric customer base riding along for a few more short years, but without learning how to hook up to younger riders, they are going to face trouble in another 10 years or so.

And they already had a brand in Buell that they could have built into a sportbike–and maybe a racing–powerhouse…and they just threw it away.

[ad#1]

2010 Ducati Multistrada First Rides

I‘ve never been a big fan of Ducati.  I don’t dislike them, and they make some very fine-looking–and performing–motorcycles.  They just don’t personally appeal to me all that much.  Not that I’d turn one down, you understand…or even a chance to test-ride one.

But they do have a loyal following, and one of their much-beloved models, the Multistrada, got a complete overhaul for this model year.  The new Multistrada 1200 has has generated a lot of excitement during the wait for its release.  Now, the wait is over, as Motorcycle Daily’s Basem Wasef and Motorcycle USA’s Adam Waheed have both gotten a chance to ride the new Multistrada, and jot down their experiences for us.

Wasef concludes:

Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman still wouldn’t pick the plucky new Duc for a hypothetical third ’round-the-world journey. But for the rest of us whose primary milieu is pavement with a touch of dirt, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 is an impressively well-rounded sport adventure tourer whose available electronic aids make it ready to tackle more rugged trails than you might expect. Considering the Italian manufacturer’s image is so laden with historical baggage-both good and bad-the Multistrada 1200 challenges the past, and redefines the essence of the Ducati brand.

Waheed concurs in his judgement:

Coming into this test, I had lofty expectations of Ducati’s new do-it-all two-wheeler. And after spending only a few hours aboard the bike, I quickly realized it was everything I thought it would be and then some. With the tap of a button it’s as sporty or as docile as you desire; it’s in its element blasting around a corner with the engine roaring at lean, or just quietly soaking up the countryside on a backwoods highway. The Multi somehow manages to be both comfortable and sporty, plus has realistic cargo capacity when you feel the need for an adventure coming on. It actually works for mild off-roading and its pavement-based rider aids (ABS and DTC) only increase its off-road potential.

The new Multistrada 1200 is a big – no, scratch that – humongous step forward for Ducati. It’s mainstream enough for any rider to appreciate, yet still retains that wild, rip-roaring Superbike pedigree that we know and love.

So far, the response to the Multistrada 1200 has been unanimously positive.

[ad#1]

Buell Racing’s New Motorcycle

Buell 1190RR
Buell 1190RR

Erik Buell Racing has unveiled it’s first brand new racing bike, the 1190RR.  the 1190cc 72° V-Twin shaves 30 pounds off of the 1125RR, giving it a dry weight of 360lbs, with engine output sporting a boost to 185HP, and 93lb-ft of torque.

That puts the 1190RR’s specs into WSBK territory.  And in that vein, the bike is kitted out to full superbike race spec.

The multiplate-slipper clutched transmission can put that power to the rear wheel in six different gears, via a chain final drive.

It’s also a pretty sharp-looking bike, with a full fairing, instead of the controversial air scoops on the side.

So, I guess the only question remaining about this race bike is…where can you race it.  It isn’t homologated for either AMA or WSBK, so that’s right out.  And, of course, it’s not street-legal in any way, shape or form.

So, at the moment, even if you do get one, you still have to figure out what you can do with it.

2010 Star Stratoliner Deluxe: MD First Ride

Motorcycle Daily has their first-ride impressions of the Star Stratoliner Deluxe, Yamaha’s anwer to the Harley-Davidson Street Glide.  They seem to like it, concluding:

Star has introduced a worthy contender in the bagger category. Stylish, but practical, the 2010 Star Stratoliner Deluxe can look cool and edgey while delivering you and your 13.7 gallons of stuff comfortably and swiftly.

Yamaha now joins Victory in providing a Street Glide alternative.

2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré (UPDATED)

After months of speculation and teasers, Yamaha has finally revealed the new XT1200Z Super Ténéré.  It seems like quite a bike.  The 1200cc parallel-twin powerplant puts out…well…we don’t know.  Yamaha hasn’t released HP or torque figures.  But with a compression ratio of 11:1, I’m thinking we’re probably somewhere in the vicinity of 110HP and 80-ish lb-ft of torque.

Like the R1200GS, it sports a full set of aluminum panniers, and other goodies for going on the road–or perhaps off it.

The full specs for the shaft-driven, 574lb, adventure bike are below the fold.

The only question is, will this bike be released in the US, or will it only be available to our cousins in the Old Country?

UPDATE: The folks at Asphalt & Rubber come through in the clinch with the output of the ST’s engine:

With 1,199cc under the hoood, the XT1200Z Super Ténéré is aiming its sights on the class-leading BMW R1200GS and new-comer Ducati Multistrada 1200. The powerplant features a parallel twin motor with four valves per cylinder, and makes 108hp @ 7,250 RPM and 84lbs•ft @ 6,000 RPM.

Pretty much what I thought it’d be.

Continue reading “2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré (UPDATED)”

Yamaha FZ8 Revealed

Yamaha dropped another teaser image of their new FZ8 today.  They promise that more information about the 800cc I-4 will be released in March.

Yamaha FZ8 Official Image
Yamaha FZ8 Official Image

As you see, it’s a fairing.  On a motorcycle.  Which isn’t very interesting, really.

But, the folks at motociclismo.it have captured images of what they say is the the actual production models of both the faired and naked versions of the FZ8.

Yamaha FZ8 with Fairing
Yamaha FZ8 with Fairing

A more extensive photo gallery can be found here.

Yamaha FZ8 Naked
Yamaha FZ8 Naked

Again, the photo gallery is here.

A Victory for Power Freaks

Victory Motorcycles has announced a new, high-powered version of the Vegas.  The new bike has a set of Stage 2 cams to pump up the output of its 106ci V-Twin.  The special edition Vegas will sport 97HP and 113 lb-ft of torque.  Victory will only be producing 100 of them, however, and pricing them at $15,999.  Oh, and you have to order it before the end of February, for March delivery.

Victory Vegas LE
Victory Vegas LE