February 6th, 2013 Ben Ringel
Although the idea has always existed, so far I didn’t pay a lot of attention to four-wheel drive vehicles. The sizable amounts of snow that recently came to my town made an ideal playground for me and Ben Ringel to try out the new Can-Am Outlander out of the city and on a suburban road terrain.
Someone who is not accustomed to ATV vehicle takes a lot of time to get used to a toy which is almost 600 pounds weighting. On a first glance Outlander does not look much luxurious but when compared with other models, one is quickly coming to the conclusion that there is a lot of extra stuff which is not found in the competition. A sufficiently wide instrument panel with centrally positioned GPS, wide arm shields, lots of switches and of course the seat, which is more than comfortable for this type of vehicle.
Oulander has a 976ccm V2 engine which provides 82bhp. The clutch is automatic, transmission is CVT, final transmission is through shaft and the fuel tank takes 5.3 gallons of fuel.
Since Ben Ringel and I were about to drive the Outlanders in a relatively harsh conditions, our first thought went towards engaging the all-wheel drive, but we deliberately set it to rear-wheel drive. The initial experience was pleasing, and just when you we finished playing on straights, came the first corner that reminded us that when you ride on ATV you should be gentle with the throttle. Although with relatively modest experience, we can say that the Outlander is not a champion when it comes to manageability. It offers a pretty shaky sense but we attributed this to the too soft servo. Since it is progressive, with a possibility of regulation in three stages, at higher speeds the resistance is higher and feels much more manageable.
What followed next was testing the all-wheel drive, however there was little difference because the Outlander was doing great with only rear-wheel drive, so soon we turned it off. Let us mention that Can-Am’s with four-wheel drive are equipped with front differential lock, which activates automatically. The new generation of Outlander is equipped with softer suspension that contributes to a more comfortable ride.
At the end, Ben Ringel conclusion was that there are some segments which could be extra finalized but overall this is a quality product that goes to the very top of four-wheelers.
June 4th, 2013 Ben Ringel
Dunlop has announced the new Streetsmart tires, says Ben Ringel. The new tires are specially designed to satisfy the needs of classic motorcycles, and they are heading for the European market.
Some recent studies confirmed that the European market has a great demand of classic motorcycles. The figures about Germany show that in less than four years, the average duration of motorcycles on the roads has increased from 12 to 14 years. The demand relies on the increasing number of motorcycle riders in their 40s and 50s who are mainly driving to amuse themselves. The data also confirm that the sale of classic motorcycles across Europe is more than half of the demand for motorcycles sold in Europe. The increasing demand increases the need for tires that follow the latest technological innovation.
The great demand for Streetsmart’s tires is an actual fact, and the recent researches confirm that, says Sharon Antonaros, the director of Business Unit Dunlop Motorcycle EMEA. He also added: “The data also shows that the majority of motorcycle riders actually belong to Streetsmart. The demand for classic motorcycles increases, when the European population is approaching to their 50s. This group is actually contributing to a greater demand, and Streetsmart must response to their demand. ”
Although they started with an improved version of Arrowmax GT501 tires, Streetsmart succeeded to overpass them. These new tires present a successful design based on mixture of the latest technologies and materials. This enhances manageability, and supreme comfort that is not often in this segment. Also, these tires bring a whole new generation of materials with silicon for improved grip in cold and wet conditions.
Technologically, Streetsmart line brings a totally new structure for the drivers. The total weight of tires has been reduced by 25% compared to the previous ones; therefore they have also improved the comfort. These tires provide improved manageability in wet conditions. Streetsmart succeeded to design these tires with better resistance in order to satisfy the customer’s demands, adds Ringel.
May 31st, 2013 Ben Ringel
The Man Isle is slowly recovering from the tragic death of Japanese rider Yoshinari Matsushita, and they are preparing to compete in the TT Zero electric class this weekend, says Ben Ringel. The main favorite is the American MotoCzysz who had won the races for the past three years. He will perform on the TT Zero race this year with the motorcycle E1pc.
Since 2009, this race had been on Isle of Man. This year, MotoCzysz plans to win again the TT Zero race. The Americans have brought once again their competitive two-wheeler that has a normal look. In fact, E1pc lost his futuristic look with the wings and transformed into a classic two-wheeler. The rest of its look remained untouched, and we can see that the motor and batteries now probably work on a higher capacity. This year, MotoCzysz will perform with a pair of two-wheelers with motor Michael Rutter, Mark Miller, Shane Turpin and Steve Rapp, adds Ringel.
Dakar Rally: Cyril Despres moved to Yamaha
Two months ago, Cyril Despres announced that he was leaving KTM. Some of them knew that he had no other choice, because the Frenchman won everything possible and there is nothing more to prove. Five-time Dakar winner is now challenged by Yamaha.
The next two years, Cyril Despres will compete for the Yamaha team. The French branch of Yamaha has created a special team for him together with Michael Metge. With The arrival of Despres, Yamaha has started to hope that they will eventually succeed to win Dakar. Their last title was back in 1998.
The French driver has not an easy task to do, especially when KTM has Marc Com, a multiple winner of the Dakar. Despres did not come empty-handed in Yamaha, because he brought along all the advantages and disadvantages of KTM and its motorcycles. Is that enough for Yamaha, we’ll know next January, adds Benjamin Ringel.
May 23rd, 2013 Ben Ringel
Two weeks ago, Yamaha has revealed all the details on their program of delivering motor engines for the CRT teams, says Ben Ringel. Engineers from Iwate put everything in order and now are just waiting for the interested teams that will take care of the above mentioned engines. And while Yamaha has no problems with deadlines and meeting them, Honda has not been that lucky – its cheaper version of MotoGP racer is late in development two months behind with the schedule.
Honda delayed the development of a cheaper version of their RC213V motorcycle, driven by Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez. For that bike we already know that will be running without the hydraulic valve lift system that was replaced by the traditional system which does this using a spring, and the cheaper version will be without the transmission that is on prototypes. Other than this data we are now richer and with some information that was revealed Shuhei Nakamoto, the head of this brand from Tokyo.
Instead of Ohlins suspension and Brembo brakes the cheaper RC213V will receive the Show and Nissin. This is mainly due to their low cost, and yet again they are used because they both belong to Honda’s inventory. The reason why is Honda late with the development of a softened version of Honda RC213V, Nakamoto didn’t want to say, but he gave a guarantee that it will be completed before the beginning of testing for next season, says Benjamin Ringel.
May 17th, 2013 Ben Ringel
In the world of bikes, here and there manufacturers happen to make a mistake, says Ben Ringel. Often these mistakes are the ones for which it is necessary to change certain components on motorcycles, but sometimes it happens that they are merely of typographical nature. The manufacturer Triumph was in fact forced to withdraw their models Explorer and Explorer XC which are produced in the past year and this is only because the label put on the motorcycle has the wrong information on the maximum allowed load for these two bikes.
Triumph withdraws specific examples of model Explorer and Explorer XC produced in 2012 and 2013 year due to the inaccuracies of the data on the maximum permissible load for the motorbikes. Wrong data could indicate that a lot of owners could saddle their motorcycles and as a result of that bike could reduce its maneuverability or jeopardize the safety of its tires which could result in a crash.
In order to prevent such a problem Triumph will have to withdraw its motorcycle back in service and put a new label on them with the proper maximum load of the bikes. This withdraw is definitely one of the cheaper and unpainful for which we have heard in recent times, but when comes to safety there is no room for compromise, says Mr. Ringel.
April 23rd, 2013 Ben Ringel
Last year’s Moto2 champion could not have written a better script before coming to Texas, says Ben Ringel. Even earlier tests conducted on COTA track showed that Marquez was very quick there, and the past weekend proved this by winning in the first MotoGP race of his career. With the victory in Texas, with only 20 years, 2 months and five days old, Marquez became the youngest winner of a GP race, and so removed Freddie Spencer from the throne, who held the record for 31 years.
Marc Marquez delighted motorcycle world by winning in his first MotoGP race as early as on the start of the season. For that, he needed only two races, the first one in Qatar where accustomed to his Honda and this one in Texas where he showed that he will be extremely dangerous rival for Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Rossi and rest. Young Spaniard did not have really good start at the beginning of the race and his teammate Dani Pedrosa took the lead. But Marquez’s regained it in the 13th lap and did not let it go until the end of race, adds Mr. Ringel.
Previous tests on COTA showed that Yamaha cannot cope with Honda on this track. Before the start of race, Yamaha technicians were able to reduce the gap that M1 had to Honda RC213V. The current champion in the royal class could keep up with Marquez and Pedrosa and climbed the podium as a third fastest, and excellent fourth came for Cal Crutchlow on the Yamaha who came in front of Stephen Chin.
Rossi struggled a lot in Texas and finished the race as sixth due to problems with brakes. The cause of this was loss of a part from the front brake disc and therefore brake performance was a major issue. The next race in Jerez is scheduled for two weeks, finishes Ben Ringel.
April 15th, 2013 Ben Ringel
Chip Yates and his electric superbike managed to climb fastest on the Pikes Peak in 2011th, says Ben Ringel. Of course this is implies for the class of electric motorbikes, and this season Greg Tracy will make an attempt to jeopardize the record on his super-bike P1A Amarok, the first electric two wheeler coming from Canada.
Amarok P1A is an electric motorcycle weighting around 300 pounds and is powered by an electricity output of 80 hp being installed in a lightweight aluminum frame. The motor draws its power from the 7.4 kWh lithium – polymer battery and its speed exceeds 70 miles per hour. If the small mass and agility, with which Amarok P1A can be proud, then its driver is completely something else. Greg Tracy has six times won the race the Pikes Peak, and is one of the most experienced drivers who can currently be found.
The famous Hollywood stuntman and a participant in the X-Games events last year has enrolled himself in the Guinness Book of Records with his stunts, and is the winner of the Baja 1000 race. He is not even unfamiliar with the salt Bonneville flat where he also tried his abilities, and all of that experience should be very much of a help to him in order to overcome the 156 curves on his way to the top and wins the 1,500 m above sea level and 14 miles long race, finishes Ben Ringel.
April 1st, 2013 Ben Ringel
MV Agusta’s rival for Ducati’s Hypermotard had its premiere last year in Milan when this bike was presented to the potential buyers, says Ben Ringel. Although its production has been announced for the middle of this year, there are few of those who actually believe it plan. The fact that Rivale 800 is still not ready for production can be confirmed by its first outdoors spy photos. Specifically MV Agusta 800 Rivale was only available to be seen at the showrooms. So far it’s never been caught a single test sample of this motorbike and it is now clear why – it is just now being tested.
Guys from the Moto.it portal these days got hold of spy photos where are two copies of the MV Agusta Rivale 800, a Supermoto wheeler with which the brand from Varese should compete in with Ducati and his Hypermotard. These motorcycles were caught in the moment when they stopped at a gas station in order to recover the amount of fuel in their tanks. The two motorcycles from the spy photos look nearly identical to those motorcycles presented in Milan, which means that MV Agusta is pleased with the appearance.
The fact that they are not covered by any camouflage does not necessarily mean that these are the final prototypes that will soon be in production as MV Agusta already uncovered the mentioned motorcycle, so there is no need to hide its appearance that everyone already knows well. As you probably already know this motorcycle weighs 170 kg and is driven by three cylinder 798 cc engine taken from the Brutale 800, which has 125 hp. Apart the engine, from model Brutale 800 are taken and the frame, electronics and MV Agusta MVICS system, ends Mr. Ringel.
March 27th, 2013 Ben Ringel
It is almost unbelievable that KTM so far has not presented any scooter, says Ben Ringel. All the technology and knowledge they have and also the great small displacement engines are almost crying out for a production of such two wheelers. But KTM has been consistent, and all the time they stuck to what are doing best, and that is motocross bikes.
However, entering of Bajaj in the company has changed the climate in Mattighofen and this is evident from their motorbikes segment that is increasingly turning to young drivers and the Asian market at the same time. Being present in the Asian market, and not to have a scooter that is selling there is a bit frivolous, and in order to complete this step, KTM has prepared a study of their first such scooter, which these days is displayed in Tokyo.
KTM is entering the scooter market, says Ringel. That fact is suggested by the prototype E-SPEED which this Austrian brand unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show.
KTM SPEED-E Concept is a scooter powered by an electric motor, the same technology that is installed in their KTM Freeride E. Liquid-cooled synchronous motor with permanent magnets concept scooter is 300 pounds heavy, makes 15 hp and 36 Nm of torque, and has a top speed of 30 mph with an option to boost it up to 45 mph.
March 22nd, 2013 Ben Ringel
Not so long ago, in the year 2010, many two wheeler manufacturers experienced a loss in their profits, says Ben Ringel. Some of them even put the key in the lock, while others almost completely collapsed, but those that managed to overcome the crisis somehow came out of it stronger than ever. One of those who walked on the verge during that crisis from 2010th was Harley Davidson. The financial crisis and the numerous strikes cost them a lot of money and loss of reputation, and due to this events, the manufacturer from Milwaukee nearly fell off the charts of world’s most valuable brands.
This brand, which in 2009 was at 76th spot in the list, during the crisis in 2010 dropped to 98th position and was threatened with relegation from the “top 100″ family. A year later, Harley Davidson was at the end of list, holding to the last spot, and threatened to be left from it for the next year. But, last year finally managed to be placed as 96th at that list. That is far from BMW and Honda who hold 12th and 21st place on the list thanks to its auto department, but still better position than what currently is held by Yahoo, reminds Ben Ringel.
Harley has again started to grow and it will be interesting to see how much of an impact will be made on the above mentioned list with their planned expansion in Asia, where Harley Davidson will soon be moving its production facilities for motorcycle with small volume engines. This step should deliver Harley Davidson new points and help them reach again the spot they held several years ago.
March 12th, 2013 Ben Ringel
Competition about electric motorbikes on the world stage has begun some five years ago, says Ben Ringel. In 2009 in the Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man was organized the first electric motorbikes race. What then seemed idyllic and amazing quickly turned into war and bickering clans. Soon TT Zero did not want to have anything with the rest of society, the TTXGP was dragged to his side, and the FIM launched its electric motorbike called e-Power. At the end, a bit of good evolved from all of this, and today TT Zero has the biggest publicity, mainly because it is tied into the classic TT and because it has only one race per year.
TTXGP has managed to turn his championship run and organize a series of races on the European scene, and in America. The problem of this championship is its small budget and media coverage, so most teams and drivers do not participate, because they simply cannot afford it. On the other hand there is FIM and its e-Power that absolutely nobody follows. If e-Power is not intentionally related to SBC and other FIMs hardly someone in motorbike racing would have heard about them.
According to the new agreement, TTXGP became a promoter of FIM-in electric World Championship. This season, four races are planned in Europe and America, and the finals are in Asia, adds Ben Ringel. As for the next season, there will be a minimum of six races on three continents, while there are plans for the future of these electric classes FIM become an entitled World Championships with many races around the world. For now it is still not clear how it will be called this electro Championship in the 2013 season.