Hondas new Africa Twin video says adventure continues on 161015

Hondas new Africa Twin video says adventure continues on 161015

IT’S months since Honda showed us the finished Africa Twin CRF1000L – so why does this new teaser video tell us the ‘adventure continues’ on ‘16.10.15’?

Could it be the revealing of the touring edition we’ve seen in spy shots?

Beats us. We’ve asked Honda, and we’ll let you know if the response sheds any light. Or we’ll just get back to you on Friday. 

At least the one-minute video gives us something nice to look at, instead of asking weird questions, à la Ducati.

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Source: Hondas new Africa Twin video says adventure continues on 161015

Caption that Early airbag designs quickly became extinct

Caption that Early airbag designs quickly became extinct

Dinosaur bike

YOUR funniest caption please.

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Source: Caption that Early airbag designs quickly became extinct

New Ducati teaser video promises lowspeed excitement

New Ducati teaser video promises lowspeed excitement

HERE’S Ducati’s latest teaser video ahead of its nine-model unveiling at the Milan motorcycle show next month. 

The ambiguous 40-second video asks ‘What is X?’ It follows an earlier teaser video which asked ‘What is black?’ and begs the less cryptic question ‘What are you talking about?’

The new video shows us a series of images containing the letter ‘X’ while a baritone voice-over says: ‘The intersection of worlds. The road along which you discover you’re part of something. The multiplication of potential. Maximal strength with minimal effort. Facing forward, forgetting what is behind. Different from what you knew. Low-speed excitement.’

That’s Word w***.

It ends with the written messages ‘The is X’ and ‘November 16th’, the date of Ducati’s pre-Milan show unveiling. 

Our best guess is that it could be referring to the belt-drive cruiser we’ve seen in spy shots – unless Ducati has finally decided to make that scooter it’s hinted at in the past

The latter would certainly explain why Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali said two of the nine new models would take the firm into ‘segments in which we’re currently not present’.

Rumours have also emerged in the last 24 hours of a 400cc Scrambler, but that’s supposedly only for Japan (if anywhere).

We know that one of the nine is definitely the recently launched Monster 1200R and another is almost certainly the 959 Panigale that’s been spotted on test

You won’t have to be in Milan to see the rest unveiled on November 16 because Ducati is going to live-stream its pre-Eicma show presentation here.

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Source: New Ducati teaser video promises lowspeed excitement

Win a Yamaha XSR700 with Motorcycle Live

Win a Yamaha XSR700 with Motorcycle Live

Yamaha XSR700
This could be you

MOTORCYCLE Live and Yamaha are giving away a brand new XSR700 in a draw on the show’s website.

To enter, click here then answer two simple questions and fill out the form.

The XSR700 is a custom-style version of the MT-07. The bike’s official launch is at the end of October, after which it will make its debut on Yamaha’s stand at the NEC. Visitors to the show will also have the opportunity to test ride the XSR700 in the Test Ride Zone. 

Good luck!

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Source: Win a Yamaha XSR700 with Motorcycle Live

2016 Tiger Explorers spied

2016 Tiger Explorers spied

Triumph Tiger Explorer XRT
The XRT is the top-of-the-range road-biased Tiger Explorer.

Triumph Tiger Explorer XCA
This is the off-road range-topping XC, or XC Adventure, which gets semi-active suspension.

TRIUMPH’S Tiger Explorer is one of the few bikes that’s taking the fight to BMW’s R1200GS in terms of sales in the UK and next year it’s going to stand an even better chance thanks to a bunch of visual and technical changes.

The range is to be reshuffled to resemble the six-model Tiger 800 line up, with three road-oriented bikes and a trio of wire-wheeled, knobbly-tyred models.

Our latest spy pictures show that the bikes are now production-ready; the red bike is completely without disguise and wears a production-style colour scheme rather than the normal prototype black – perhaps Triumph has been shooting pictures for the bike’s brochure? It even carries ‘XRT’ badging, revealing its position at the top of the range of road-biased versions.

The XRT is the touring model of the range and gains high-spec kit including WP’s semi-active, electronically-adjustable suspension. Lower spec machines including the base XR and mid-line XRx are unlikely to get the semi-active kit, but will feature the same styling and technical changes. These include all-new bodywork, restyled wheels and a revised engine including higher-spec electronics. The new radial-mount Brembo brakes have also been spied on lower-spec prototypes, suggesting they’ll be used throughout the range.

Given that BMW’s R1200GS sales are fairly equally split between the road-oriented GS and the more rugged Adventure version, it’s not a surprise that Triumph is also set to offer three XC-badged models with wire wheels, a 19-inch front and knobblier rubber. 

Our spy picture shows a near-completed, but still unbadged and black-finished, range-topping XC – likely to be called the XCA or XC Adventure to mimic the Tiger 800’s most expensive variant. It also gets the semi-active WP suspension and the new styling but retains the wire wheels of the existing Explorer XC. In XCA form it’s clearly going to be peppered with bolt-on extras including panniers, top-box, crash bars, extra lights and probably a host of rider aids and creature comforts.

Again, lower-spec XCs and XCxes will look near-identical but aren’t expected to get the semi-active suspension.

The fact these bikes are so complete, particularly the ready-for-its-closeup Explorer XRT, suggests that the final unveiling could be just days away.

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Source: 2016 Tiger Explorers spied

First ride Lexmoto ZSF 125 review

First ride Lexmoto ZSF 125 review

Lexmoto ZSF
The Lexmoto ZSF 125

Lexmoto ZSF engine
Enough power for slicing across a city.

Lexmoto ZSF exhaust
That exhaust is crying out for a Termignoni sticker…

Lexmoto ZSF dash
The dash has everything you need, presented simply and clearly.

Lexmoto ZSF suspension
The left fork leg is called Tom and the right is called Daley.

Lexmoto ZSF tank
The flared bits on the sides of the tank are purely an aesthetic touch.

Lexmoto ZSF seat
That’s what a comfy seat looks like.

THE Lexmoto ZSF 125 is a Chinese learner/commuter bike that costs £1,099.99 new. It’s absurdly cheap, but for that kind of coin, how good can a new bike actually be, and is it value for money? I rode one for a week to find out.

My first journey on the ZSF was the evening commute home, and as I worked my way through west London, the 124cc four-stroke air-cooled single-cylinder carb-fed engine quickly made itself known as a keen and friendly ally in the struggle past Chelsea tractors and executive coupes.

With 10hp, the motor happily provides enough power for a respectable getaway from the front of the lights and will take the ZSF to 50 mph and bit beyond without any drama. With only 124cc, the lack of torque means I had to keep the revs up to be within easy reach of the power. It pulls most between 6,000 and 9,000rpm, with the majority of its double decker bus-beating ability lying between 7,000 and 8,000rpm and the buzzy soundtrack that accompanies it.

The engine is flexible though, and would begrudgingly let me get away with being in too high a gear. In that scenario, the engine would pick itself up with respectable speed as the exhaust note changed from a gargle to its usual fizzy din. Sustaining the ZSF’s momentum through town means getting busy with the clutch and gearbox.

The simple little motor is dependable and reliable too – just what you want from a commuter, but properly waking it up in the morning requires some liberal throttle and full choke. It fuels acceptably, isn’t rattley, overly noisy and it didn’t drop its oil in my garage.

It’s a shame then that the gearbox feels vague; whether shifting up or down, I never got enough of a positive feeling from the lever. When stopped in neutral at a set of lights, after selecting first, I’d have to check the gear indicator on the dash to make sure I’d actually found it. Otherwise I’d have been trying my best race start with the bike still not in gear.

The brakes get the job done adequately, but without much feeling. At the front, there’s a two-piston single-disc set-up, at the rear a drum. The front has enough power but feels vague because the lever is stiff, making it hard to sense what the pads are really doing. In the dry, the brakes were sufficient, as you’d hope. I’ll get to wet weather braking in a minute.

So far, so good, but it can’t all be smooth sailing and the ZSF’s low price is reflected in kind of ride it offers. The non-adjustable front suspension wallows more than a mattress moving to the groove of love – the conventional front forks work without much in the way of composure and need much better damping.

From Kensington to Kingston, the suspension felt startled at having to deal with speed humps, pot holes, grooves in the road – anything other than a perfect surface. Using the front brake and closing the throttle quickly would all encourage the front to sink, and I weigh slightly under 10 stone, so it’s not because of my problematic addiction to Big Macs. The rear is bouncy too, but because the bike has a comfy seat and the rear has less to cope with than the front, it wasn’t an issue.

The ZSF is connected to the road with a set of tyres from that well-known brand Weixing. You haven’t heard of them? Me neither, and I hope I never have to again because the 18-inch rubber on the ZSF is woeful. The profile isn’t particularly round, so during long or sweeping corners where the bike needs to lean into the turn, it felt unstable, like was riding on a 90° edge. Grip in the dry is passable, but I suspect that if they had to deal with any more than the ZSF’s modest claimed power or 125kg weight, they’d crumble, perhaps literally.

In the wet, I found the front of the ZSF unpredictable when slowing and coming to a stop. Grip from the front would be abominable even if it didn’t have to deal the divey forks. With the wooden-feeling front brake added to the mix, it makes for an uneasy experience.

During one ride on damp and drying roads, the front locked without any warning at less than 20mph as I slowed for a car that looked like it was about to cut me up. I wasn’t using a lot of brake pressure, or getting on the front particularly hard. I managed to lock the front once more on the same ride as I came to a stop at stop at some lights – once again, under gentle braking, but under 10mph. After that, I was very cautious riding the ZSF in the rain.

It’s something that could be easily changed though. A quick search for 18-inch tyres turns up inexpensive offerings from Michelin and Pirelli, and I’d stake my left nut on them being better than the OE Weixing Trouserbrowners. I’d hope that combined with some decent rubber, putting some thicker oil in the forks would go some way to sorting out the front end.

I mentioned that the ZSF has a gear indicator on the dash, which I wasn’t expecting for just over £1k. The dash itself is basic, functional and clear, with speed and revs easily visible at a glance. It was a pleasant surprise when I first turned the ignition on and saw the rev counter even sweep round to the 12,000 rpm redline before settling back to zero. It’s the same story with the bar switches, which all works nicely and feels like good quality.

While the shape and positioning of the bars aren’t to my taste, giving the bike a bit of a pedestrian, commuter-ish look, they provide good leverage and a huge steering lock angle. In built-up traffic, the ZSF excels at hustling past London’s double deckers and wayward black cabs. It’s ace at making tight turns and matches a scooter for filtering finesse because it’s so narrow. The mirrors don’t hamper filtering either, but have a tendency to gradually flop out of position and I had to adjust them often.

If you think you recognise it the ZSF, it’s because it’s ‘inspired by’ Yamaha’s YBR125 according to Lexmoto, albeit with some new pods on the sides of the tank. They look like they might be directing air towards the engine but they don’t do anything apart from make the ZSF look less meek. So when you leave it parked up, the bigger bikes don’t give it a hard time for being cheap and small. The paint is good too – the tank, seat unit and plastics are finished in a lustrous black and red that belies how inexpensive the ZSF is.

So is it worth the outlay? If you’re prepared to put thicker oil in to the forks and get some better tyres fitted (which aren’t expensive), then yes. It’s a brand-new bike for just over £1,000 that’ll easily meet the needs of cross-town commuters and learners. It is very basic and functional, but that should make it easy and cheap to maintain. For the money, there’s isn’t much to fault in the overall quality, but value isn’t necessarily where I want to find it. Give me decent rubber instead of a flashy dash, any day.

Model tested: Lexmoto ZSF

Price: £1,099

Engine: 124cc, air-cooled single cylinder

Brakes: Front: Hydraulic single disc with two piston caliper / Rear: Drum

Suspension: Front: Non-adjustable traditional forks / Rear: non-adjustable twin shocks

Power: 10hp @ 8,000rpm

Torque: 7.2lb/ft @ 6,500rpm

Unladen weight: 125kg

Tank capacity: 13 litres (2.85 gallons)

Seat height: 760mm

Colours: Red, black and blue

Availability: now

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Source: First ride Lexmoto ZSF 125 review

Video Husqvarna 701 Supermoto in action on track

Video Husqvarna 701 Supermoto in action on track

HERE’S Husqvarna’s 701 Supermoto shown in action on track for the first time in a video just published by the firm.

Based on KTM’s 690 SMC R, but ‘breathed on’ by Husqvarna, the 701 Supermoto makes a claimed 70hp and weighs 145kg dry.

Visordown is attending the launch in Portugal on November 3 so look out for a full review then (we can’t guarantee we’ll manage the lean seen here).

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Source: Video Husqvarna 701 Supermoto in action on track

Facelift for Hondas NC750X

Facelift for Hondas NC750X

Honda NC750X 2014
The 2014 NC750X

SURPRISES from Honda at next month’s Milan motorcycle show will include a facelifted NC750X, according to Visordown sources.

It’s only two years since the NC range got a capacity hike from 700cc but the X is receiving a fresh round of updates for 2016 including a major restyling and a new headlight.

One possibility is that it will get a more aggressive look to match the VFR800X Crossrunner, the next biggest road-biased adventure model in Honda’s line-up.

The NC range, which is available with Honda’s automatic Dual Clutch Transmission system, also includes the naked NC750S, the Integra scooter and the plain weird NM4 Vultus.

The NC750X is the best-selling of the range and was Honda’s 10th top UK seller overall between January and June this year, with 289 new ones registered.

The updated version is expected to debut on November 16, the day before it’s shown at the Eicma Milan show. 

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Source: Facelift for Hondas NC750X